Prosecutors drop battery charge against Dolphins' Merling

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Prosecutors have dropped a felony aggravated battery charge against Miami Dolphins defensive end Phillip Merling.

The Broward State Attorney's Office confirmed Tuesday that the charge against Merling for allegedly attacking his pregnant girlfriend was dropped a day earlier.

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The state attorney's office says the girlfriend moved to her parent's home in South Carolina after the alleged incident.

Authorities have been unable to serve her a subpoena to have her return to Florida to testify against him.

A judge wouldn't grant another continuance since the state wasn't able to provide a complaining witness. So, prosecutors say, the state was forced to drop the charge.

The 6-foot-5, 305-pound Merling was arrested in May. Merling had 33 tackles and 2.5 sacks for the Dolphins last season. He remains on the reserve/non-football injury list this season since tearing his left Achilles tendon in July.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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