• Former University of Florida football player charged in wife's death

    By: WFTV.com

    Updated:

    Former University of Florida football player Earl Antonio "Tony" Joiner was arrested and charged with killing his wife in a case dating to 2016, police said.

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    A former safety at Florida under then-coach Urban Meyer, Joiner, 33, was arrested Saturday on a charge of second-degree murder in the death of his wife, Heyzel Obando, the Fort Myers Police Department said in a statement. The body of Obando, 26, was discovered in an apartment on Feb. 14, 2016.

    Joiner played as a safety for Florida from 2004 to 2007 and was part of the team that defeated Ohio State for the BCS national championship in January 2007 to cap his junior year. He also was a one-time captain of the team.

    Fort Myers police said in the statement released on social media that investigators had worked closely with the state's attorney's office and with the Oxygen Television series "Cold Justice" on the case. The statement added that Joiner was taken into custody Saturday in Lake Wales in Central Florida in a coordinated effort with the Lake Wales Police Department and the Polk County Sheriff's Office.

    Joiner attended Haines City High School in Polk County.

    The statement did not elaborate on what led to the arrest.

    Media outlets reported that Joiner was being held without bond Sunday in the Polk County Jail.

    It was unclear if Joiner has retained an attorney who could comment on the charges.

    The reports noted that Joiner, as a junior player, led all of UF's defensive backs with 59 tackles. During his senior year, Joiner had 64 tackles and two interceptions. His final season, Joiner was teammates with freshman tight end Aaron Hernandez, who would eventually go on to play for the New England Patriots. Hernandez was later convicted of murder and killed himself in prison in 2017.


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