Cable Could Face Attempted Manslaughter Charges

Raiders coach could be in serious trouble following alleged fight

By Joe Kukura
|  Friday, Aug 21, 2009  |  Updated 2:57 PM PDT
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Cable Could Face Attempted Manslaughter Charges

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Raiders Head Coach Tom Cable could be looking at attempted manslaughter charges and a prison sentence.

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After Thursday's Raiders training camp practice, head coach Tom Cable briefly addressed the Randy Hanson "coach-punching" controversy in classic Lieutenant Frank Drebin fashion.

"We’re still going to take care of it internally," Cable told the San Francisco Chronicle, "One thing I will tell you is this, when all the facts come out, everything will be fine. "

That's a very reassuring and calm demeanor for a guy who's potentially facing aggravated assault and attempted manslaughter felony charges, according to legal experts.

Allegedly cold-cocked assistant coach Randy Hanson hasn't commented publicly or spoken on the record. But the National Football Post's account from a source close to Hanson says that "Hanson was choked," and "Cable said, ‘I am going to kill you, I am going to kill you,’ as he was choking him."

Latrell Sprewell doesn't see a problem with this. But the California Penal Code does, and Randy Hanson is now cooperating with the police, which prompted the Napa Police Department to say in a release on Friday that after "the victim" initially refused to identify the responsible person, "new evidence has come to light" reopening the investigation.

"Choking Hanson while threatening to kill him could ratchet up the charges to attempted manslaughter," says San Francisco Examiner legal analyst Melissa Griffin. "Attempted manslaughter is the charge when someone attempts to kill another person in the heat of passion. In addition, the choking plus jaw injury means that Cable can be charged with aggravated assault, which is a felony."

We don't know that Randy Hanson's account of this incident is accurate. But we can be pretty sure that this is what he and his high-powered attorney are telling the police.

Hanson has retained John McGuinn of the San Francisco law firm McGuinn Hillsman & Palefsky. That's not a firm you retain if your main goal is to get a guy put behind bars. That's a firm you retain if you're looking for a settlement with a large number of zeroes prior to the decimal point.

"By hiring an employment lawyer," says Ms. Griffin, "my money is on a lawsuit against the Raiders franchise as well as Cable. If management of the team knew about Cable's inclination to violent outbursts and did nothing to protect Hansen, the team can be sued under a 'negligent retention.'"

Meaning, Hanson's attorney would say that it's Al Davis and the Raiders organization's fault for employing and retaining a head coach whom they will allege has a short fuse and fists of Bluto.

But that's Hanson's civil suit strategy, the one geared toward making him a very rich man now that his NFL coaching career is almost certainly finished. The criminal charges will be handled by the Napa police, and those are the charges involving nasty words like "manslaughter," "assault," and "felony".

And those charges could also carry a nasty 1.5 to 5.5-year prison sentence.

"Nothing to see here! Please disperse! Nothing to see here!"

Joe Kukura is a freelance writer with a short fuse and fists of Tinkerbell.

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