Ex-Florida player charged with murder in wife’s 2016 death

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Earl Antonio Joiner, Tony Joiner

This photo provided by the Fort Myers Police Department shows Earl Antonio “Tony” Joiner. The former University of Florida football player has been arrested and charged with killing his wife in a case dating to 2016, police said. (Fort Myers Police Department via AP)

FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — A former University of Florida football player, Earl Antonio “Tony” Joiner, has been arrested and charged with killing his wife in a case dating to 2016, police said.

A former safety at Florida under then-Coach Urban Meyer, Joiner was arrested Saturday on a charge of second-degree murder in the death of wife Heyzel Obando, the Fort Myers Police Department said in a statement. The body of Joiner’s 26-year-old wife 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 onetime 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 coordinate effort with the Lake Wales Police Department and the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

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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Information from: The Ledger (Lakeland, Fla.), http://www.theledger.com

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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