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

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 Meyers, 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 released on social media. The body of Joiner’s 26-year-old wife was discovered in her apartment on Feb. 14, 2016.

Joiner was part of the team that defeated Ohio State for the BCS national championship in 2007, his junior year.

Fort Myers Police said in the statement that investigators had worked closely with the state’s attorney’s office and with the TV series “Cold Justice” on the case. The statement added that Joiner was taken into custody Saturday morning in Lake Wales in central Florida as part of an effort that also involved the Lake Wales Police Department and the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

The statement did not elaborate on what led to the arrest in the three-year-old case.

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. They said that during his senior year, Joiner had 64 tackles and two interceptions.


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