Ex-Seahawk Chad Wheeler sentenced 81 months for assault

SEATTLE -- Former Seattle Seahawks offensive lineman Chad Wheeler was sentenced Friday to 81 months in state prison following his November conviction for first- and second-degree assault/domestic violence.

The sentence, handed down in King County (Washington) Superior Court, stemmed from a 2021 incident with Wheeler and his then-girlfriend. Because the jury found that he "used force or means likely to result in death," Wheeler's conviction on first-degree assault/domestic violence -- a Class A felony -- carried a mandatory minimum sentence of 60 months.

According to court documents obtained by ESPN, prosecutors asked the court to impose a sentence of 108 months, which was in the middle of the standard sentencing range.

In addition to the 81-month sentence, Wheeler was given 36 months of probation and ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation as well as pay a yet-to-be determined amount of restitution.

Wheeler, then a backup tackle with the Seahawks, was arrested in January 2021 after being accused of pinning the woman down and twice choking her until she lost consciousness. The woman, Alleah Taylor, told police that when she regained consciousness for the second time, Wheeler expressed surprise that she was still alive.

Taylor's injuries included a fractured humerus and a dislocated elbow.

Wheeler, who has bipolar disorder, said he was experiencing a "manic episode" during the incident. Taylor said she was unsure whether the assault was related to Wheeler's mental health.

A King County jury found Wheeler guilty of first- and second-degree assault/domestic violence. He was found not guilty of a third count of unlawful imprisonment. Per Washington's double jeopardy clause, the sentence only reflected the first count of first-degree assault.

Wheeler, who previously played for the New York Giants, was waived by the Seahawks after the incident and has not been signed to an NFL roster since. He had pleaded not guilty to the charges against him, and his trial was pushed back several times as a result of continuances requested by the defense.