3 MTSU football players suspended after arrest - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

3 MTSU football players suspended after arrest

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J.D. Jones J.D. Jones
Marcus Robinson Marcus Robinson
Rodney O'Neal Rodney O'Neal
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MURFREESBORO, TN (WSMV-AP) -

Investigators say they have video of a Middle Tennessee State University football player choking his girlfriend last November while two teammates watched and did nothing.

The girlfriend met with university police on Friday, and they released a report Monday saying they have a copy of a videotape showing the woman pleading with defensive tackle James De'Angelo "J.D." Jones to stop choking her first with his hand, then his arm from behind.

Officer Adam Wortman wrote the videotape is narrated by other suspects who did not help the woman and said the choking "happens all the time or every day."

Jones was charged with two counts of domestic aggravated assault on Saturday, while cornerback Rodney O'Neal and defensive tackle Marcus Robinson each face two counts of aiding and abetting.

The three players, all sophomores for the Blue Raiders, have been suspended from the team.

Ronni Cantrell told police Jones at one point came to the apartment asking for money to buy marijuana. According to the police report, when she said no, he began choking her and grabbed a pink baseball bat and begin hitting her on the legs.

She still refused to give him money, so he allegedly took the bat from another football player and hit her so hard it left bruises and injuries to her back and legs.

Cantrell was able to hit Jones in the groin and he let go, according to the report, but he then picked up a football and threw it at her face, causing her to fall to the ground.

"You had a typical domestic relationship between two people that over a period of time there were some issues that came up, and that's where these charges stemmed from," said MTSU Police spokesman Sgt. Broede Stucky.

Cantrell told police she was assaulted by Jones numerous times dating back to October 2012.

"We're going to handle every situation where the law prescribes. It's one of the things where it doesn't really matter who it is. It could have been anybody coming in here with the same information, we're going to pursue it and handle in the same fashion," Stucky said.

Jones, O'Neal and Robinson each surrendered to campus police at different times on Saturday.

Jones played in all 12 games in 2012 for the Blue Raiders, finishing the year with 14 tackles, including one tackle for a loss, and a quarterback hurry. O'Neal and Robinson did not play in any games last year.

Head coach Rick Stockstill issued the following statement: "I was disappointed to learn of charges brought against three current football players. 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. We always try to represent our university to the highest standards, and matters like this are taken very seriously."

 

Copyright 2013 WSMV(Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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