Former Florida defensive back Tony Joiner was arrested and charged with second-degree murder on Saturday.
Joiner, a captain on the 2007 Gators team, is accused of killing his wife, Heyzel Obando. A warrant was issued for his arrest on Friday and Joiner, 33, was subsequently taken into custody on Saturday in Lake Wales, Florida, according to the Fort Myers News-Press.
Obando was found dead in her apartment in Fort Myers, Florida, on Valentine’s Day in 2016. She was 26 years old. Two months later, her death was ruled a homicide by local authorities, but no arrests had been made in the three-plus years since — until Saturday.
Per the News-Press, Joiner was twice arrested for assaulting Obando. He also was held in police custody for a probation violation a month after Obando’s death. Joiner, who has two children with Obando, was released on May 8, 2016.
Joiner played at Florida from 2004-2007, appearing in 47 games with 27 starts at safety. He was recruited to Gainesville by Ron Zook and played three seasons under Urban Meyer after Zook was fired.
Joiner accumulated 156 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, five interceptions and three forced fumbles in his four seasons. He led all UF defensive backs with 59 tackles in the Gators’ BCS national championship-winning season in 2006.
Joiner is the second player from Meyer’s 2007 team to be charged with murder. Aaron Hernandez was a freshman tight end in 2007. Hernandez became a star on the field for the Gators and later the New England Patriots until he was arrested and charged with first-degree murder in 2013. Hernandez was convicted in 2015 and sentenced to life in prison. He committed suicide in prison in 2017.
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