Suspended MTSU football players involved in choking incident - WKRN News 2

Suspended MTSU football players involved in alleged choking incident

Posted: Updated: July 22, 2013 6:00 PM
James "J.D." Jones James "J.D." Jones
Marcus Robinson Marcus Robinson
Rodney O'Neal Rodney O'Neal
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -

Three football players at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro were arrested over the weekend after a woman was choked last year in an on-campus apartment.

Police said Monday the victim was the girlfriend of football player James "J.D." Jones. 

Jones allegedly choked her last November while his teammates, Rodney O'Neal and Marcus Robinson, videotaped it.

Police learned of the incident Friday after the victim came forward and reported the incident and two other encounters including an alleged assault in May during which she suffered bruises after being beaten with a baseball bat by Jones.  The other alleged assault occurred last October. 

All three football players turned themselves in Saturday.

Jones was charged with aggravated assault and violation of probation.  O'Neal and Robinson were each charged with aiding and abetting in the form of criminal responsibility for the conduct of another.

MTSU police Sgt. Broade Stuckey said all three incidents occurred at Scarlett Commons, an on-campus apartment complex.

The victim reported to police that during the most recent incident in May, Jones, six foot, three inches tall and 295 pounds, put her in a headlock while asking her for money to buy marijuana.

Head coach for the Blue Raiders, Rick Stockstill, said he was disappointed to learn of the charges.

"This is not the reflection of our football program we want at Middle Tennessee, and we will react accordingly after gathering all pertinent information. The three players are suspended immediately from the football team," he said in a statement, adding, "We always try to represent our university to the highest standards, and matters like this are taken very seriously."

"These are obviously troubling charges and these players will remain suspended while Public Safety and Judicial Affairs continue their investigations," MTSU Athletic Director Chris Massaro said.

All three student athletes are 20 years old and rising sophomores.

They have an August 29 court date, the same day MTSU plays its season-opening game versus Western Carolina.

Jones is the only one of the three to play last season. He had 14 tackles in 12 games, but he sat out spring practice with an injury.

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