Sunday afternoon, Timberwolves forward Dante Cunningham was arrested for allegedly sending his girlfriend threatening electronic messages. That came just two days after he was charged with a felony for allegedly strangling her early Thursday morning.
Despite the terroristic threats arrest, Cunningham posted bail Monday and was released from custody without additional charges being filed. That doesn't mean charges can't be added down the line, however.
After a suspect is arrested, prosecutors generally have 36 hours to file charges or they must be released. (They have more time if someone is arrested over a weekend.) But once they're released, investigators can take their time.
"If for whatever reason the person is not in custody or gets kicked loose, that clock is no longer ticking, and we're no longer under the same pressure to quickly review the evidence and get a complaint written up and signed," Chuck Laszewski, media coordinator for the Hennepin County Attorney's Office, tells us.
"The classic example is if we have a murder case and police pick up a guy they think did it. They have him in jail and are working the investigation as fast as they can, but it's a complicated case and we have some indication that the guy might be a danger to society, so we'll do everything we can to get him charged within 36 hours," Laszewski says. "The other thing we can do is ask for an extension, but all those go by the boards once he's released."
According to a Hennepin County Attorney's Office release, "A decision on whether to charge Cunningham with any other crime will be made in the coming weeks."
After he was released from custody, Cunningham issued a statement acknowledging he put the Timberwolves in a tough spot.
"The charges and accusations in my personal life have unintentionally placed my teammates and the organization in a challenging position," Cunningham's statement says. "I cannot comment on the charges, as we require that the facts play out through the legal process. Thank you for your understanding."
The soon-to-be-free-agent forward played 15 minutes in last night's Timberwolves victory over San Antonio, scoring five points to go along with five assists.