Oklahoma coach rejoins local soccer team after being cleared on murder charges
OKLAHOMA CITY – An Oklahoma City soccer coach has rejoined the team after being cleared on murder charges.
The Oklahoma City Energy Football Club reportedly fired assistant coach Christopher Spendlove after he was charged with killing an off-duty officer in December.
After Spendlove was cleared of all charges, the OKC Energy FC offered him his job back, which he accepted.
The team released a statement saying:
We are beyond pleased to learn Coach Chris Spendlove has been cleared of all charges related to an unfortunate incident in December 2014 in England. As we said at the time of the incident, we were stunned by the news because it was so out of character for Chris who is one of the nicest and kindest people you could ever meet.
As a member of our coaching staff, Chris always conducted himself with the highest standards of professionalism. Since the time of the incident, our thoughts and prayers have been with Chris and his family as the legal proceedings progressed through the British court system. We were confident the court would get to the truth; and it did.
As a result of the favorable outcome, we have extended an offer to Chris to re-join our organization which he has accepted.
According to Liverpool Echo, the Energy’s general manager, Jason Hawkins, flew to England to give evidence on his colleague’s behalf. During the trial, Hawkins told Spendlove the door remained open to him following his acquittal on all charges.
Hawkins said the decision to dismiss Spendlove from the team following his charges was “to protect” the team’s brand.
“We turned right round as soon as we were able to get hold of him and said ‘as soon as you get yourself back home and get out of this, your position is there for you’,” Hawkins reportedly said.
This week, Spendlove was found not guilty of manslaughter, assault and wounding charges.
Two others, Andrew Taylor and Timmy Donovan, were found guilty of manslaughter.