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49ers Fullback Charged with Vandalism

The hits keep coming for the San Francisco 49ers off the field. We already know the situation that team has found itself in with current linebacker Aldon Smith and former defensive lineman Ray McDonald.

It now appears that lead blocker Bruce Miller will have to appear in court in California to answer to vandalism charges. Miller, the team’s seventh-round pick in 2011, is being charged with vandalism by the Santa Clara County DA’s office stemming from a domestic violence complaint levied against him early this year.

An investigation into a domestic situation between Miller and his girlfriend failed to turn up any evidence that he assaulted her. Instead, a witness to the situation indicated that he/she saw Miller throw his girlfriend’s phone against the wall. Hence, the vandalism charge.

Even relatively minor domestic violence incidents can be the first steps on a path that ends in tragedy,” said Jim Demertzis, who supervises the District Attorney’s Family Violence Unit. “That’s why we take all domestic violence cases seriously.

If convicted, Miller faces up to a year in jail. However, it’s more than likely that he will receive a probation sentence stemming from the situation.

Miller, who the team converted from the defensive line to fullback after drafting him in 2011, has started 42 of the 61 games in which he has appeared in four seasons. He’s caught 66 passes for 599 yards and three touchdowns during that span. According to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), Miller graded out as the second-best fullback in the NFL this past season.

This charge, while still worrisome for Miller, sure beats the alternative. If he had been charged with domestic violence, the 27-year-old would have faced a six-game suspension by the NFL and potentially further action from the 49ers, including an outright release.

Though, it must be noted that Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area is indicating that Miller and the 49ers have decided that he will remain away from the team until the matter is resolved.

Photo: USA Today Sports