An Austin judge has issued an arrest warrant for former University of Texas and NFL star Earl Thomas after police said Thomas violated a court protective order by sending threatening messages to a woman about her and her children.
According to court records, Magistrate George Thomas signed a warrant on April 27 charging Thomas with a third-degree felony for allegedly violating the protective order two or more times within 12 months. The case has been assigned to a Travis County district court.
As of Friday afternoon, Thomas had not been booked into the Travis County jail.
The warrant was issued just days after Thomas, a seven-time Pro Bowl safety, told an ESPN reporter on April 22 that he hopes to return to the NFL. Thomas, who turns 33 on Saturday, has not played since 2020 when the Baltimore Ravens released him after he punched a teammate during a preseason practice.
Thomas, who played in college at the University of Texas from 2008 to 2010, owns a home in West Austin with his estranged wife. His arrest affidavit says Thomas also spends time in Orange, Texas, where he grew up before coming to the Longhorns.
Trey Dolezal, an Austin lawyer and sports agent who represents Thomas in an ongoing divorce, said he left a message for Thomas to let him know about the arrest warrant. He said the warrant stems from Thomas reaching out to his wife to see their children.
“They were consciously and collectively working together to see his kids,” Dolezal said. “I don’t really understand how he could be in violation by working together to visit with his children.”
In the arrest affidavit, police allege Thomas violated a protective order that was issued in May 2021 by a Travis County civil court judge. That order stated Thomas could communicate with the woman only through a co-parenting phone application. The woman told police that Thomas refuses to download the application and instead reaches out to her by phone, and arrives unannounced at places she frequents.
Recently, the woman told police Thomas began sending her text messages that threaten the woman and her children.
On April 18, police say Thomas texted the woman that he obtained two handguns earlier that day. Later, he texted: “Waiting on hand in foot is why I’ll kick ur ass.”
The next day, police say Thomas texted: “I hope u in the car with him and the kids and yall drive off the road.” That same day, police say he texted: “Ima let my momma and my cousins poison they (their children) ass.”
The woman told police that Thomas suffered several concussions playing football and might have CTE — the term commonly used for brain degeneration caused by head trauma.
According to additional court records, Thomas was arrested in Travis County in February 2021 on a misdemeanor charge for carrying a weapon unlawfully. He agreed to forfeit the weapon, and the case was dismissed in February 2022.
Thomas’ marital problems went public in May 2020 when Austin police arrested his wife, Nina, after they say she pointed a loaded weapon at her husband’s head after breaking into a vacation home and finding him with another woman.
That November, Nina filed for divorce from Thomas.
The couple is listed as co-owners of a 12,000 square feet home in West Austin that they purchased in 2018. The property has $96,000 in delinquent taxes and penalties from last year, according to the county tax office.
“I don’t know exactly why he hasn’t paid that, but I assume he’s going to take care of that,” Dolezal said. “There would be no reason for him not to.”