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Moon’s Wife Says She Kept Quiet

February 20, 1996

RICHMOND, Texas (AP) _ Prosecutors rested their assault case Tuesday against Warren Moon after the quarterback’s wife acknowledged she passed up several chances to tell her side of the story.

Felicia Moon in earlier testimony repeatedly characterized the Fort Bend County district attorney’s office as overzealous and not interested in her version of the July 18 argument that resulted in scratches and bruises along her neck and shoulders.

She admitted she ignored chances to volunteer the complete story to investigators who came to the couple’s suburban Houston home, to the media who showed up at the house for a news conference she called three days after the argument, and later when she met with prosecutors.

``I had an opportunity,″ said Felicia Moon, 39, who returned to the stand Tuesday.

Under repeated questioning by prosecutor Mike Elliott, she conceded she did not try to correct the publicized version of events detailed in a four-page statement she made to police and in an indictment against her 39-year-old husband.

Moon, who spent 10 years with the Houston Oilers and is now with the Minnesota Vikings, faces up to a year in jail and a $4,000 fine if convicted of the misdemeanor assault charge.

Elliott tried to have Felicia Moon’s four-page statement submitted as evidence Tuesday. But County Court-at-Law Judge Larry Wagenbach agreed with defense attorney Rusty Hardin, who said it was inadmissible.

According to Texas law, unless a person who gave the statement refuses to acknowledge the contents, the entire written version cannot be admitted as evidence. Felicia Moon never has denied giving the statement, but has said it is incomplete.

One of the most hotly contested portions of the statement is over the words ``chocked″ and ``choked.″ Felicia Moon’s statement uses the word ``chocked″ twice and ``choked″ once, according to portions read to jurors.

She has said her husband ``chocked″ her, explaining he wedged his hands behind her shoulders while holding her down because of her excited state during the argument.

Missouri City Police Detective Andi Wiltse contended Tuesday the word ``chocked″ is a misspelling of the word ``choked.″

Felicia Moon has testified her husband ``choked″ her while trying to calm her. She said he quickly released his grip once she started coughing and has insisted he did not mean to harm her.

She also said he had never hit her since 1986, when she filed a divorce petition alleging he had assaulted her on three occasions.

But in a portion of her statement read Tuesday to jurors, Felicia Moon told police: ``Warren has assaulted me before. The last time was about a year ago, about the MasterCard. He thought I was lying about the bill.″

She also told the jury prosecutors offered a plea bargain of six months probation to her husband, but she insisted it be rejected.

Felicia Moon, who has wanted the case dropped, has testified the couple’s marriage was rocky at the time of the incident, triggered by Moon’s insistence that she surrender credit cards, and that Moon had not been living at their Missouri City home.

His multimillion-dollar signing by the Oilers in 1984, after a successful stint with the Canadian Football League, made him pro football’s highest paid player at the time.

Felicia Moon said their marriage began to deteriorate because she chose to raise their then three young children while her husband was gone all the time. To combat depression, she went to shopping malls, ringing up $160,000 in credit card expenses and bank withdrawals and angering her husband.

The July argument included her throwing a candle holder at Moon, hitting him the back. She said she was aiming at his head.

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