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San Francisco 49ers defensive end Aldon Smith, who is currently away from the team while he undergoes substance abuse counseling, now has another major issue to add to his list. On Wednesday, according to NBC Bay Area, the Santa Clara (Calif.) District's Attorney's office filed three felony counts of assault weapons charges against Smith in relation to a party thrown at his house in 2012. Smith was stabbed at the party, and two other people were shot.
“The 49ers organization is aware of the recent developments with Aldon arising from an incident at his home in 2012," the team said in a statement. "We recognize the serious nature of this situation, as does Aldon, and will continue to monitor it closely. As this is an ongoing legal matter, we will have no further comment.”
Smith is on indefinite leave from the team following his Sept. 20 arrest for driving under the influence and possession of marijuana. On Monday, 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh said that he had texted with Smith, and that he had "heard things are going very well. Very positive reports back.”
"My comment would be, we’ve been aware of the incident that you’re referring to, the serious nature of it," HArbaugh told the media on Wednesday. "And we’re all accountable for our actions good and bad. So, there’s a process, due process, other processes that will take place and I don’t feel any need to comment further on it.”
Two weeks ago, the people who were shot at the party each filed civil lawsuits against Smith. The suits do not claim that Smith owned the weapons that were used, but cite him as a responsible party because the shootings occurred at his home just outside of San Jose. Former 49ers and current Tennessee Titans tight end Delanie Walker was named as a co-defendant.
Smith's attorney, Matthew Conant, filed a response to the suit brought by Ronndale Esporlas, one of the victims, saying that Esporlas knew the risks and dangers inherent when he attended the event. The lawsuit claims that Smith and Walker tried to end the party by firing illegally possessed weapons into the air, and that a group of people near the street fired back in response. Aaron Reyes, the other individual who was shot, has also filed suit.
“Walker then made his way to the driveway," the lawsuit claims. "Once on the driveway Delanie Walker began firing a handgun in the air and towards others attending the party.” Both Esporlas and Reyes claim "serious, catastrophic and permanent injuries" as a result of the shootings.