MTSU's JD Jones Arrested for Allegedly Choking Girlfriend as Teammates Videotape
Middle Tennessee State defensive tackle J.D. Jones has been suspended from the Blue Raiders' football team and is facing charges stemming from incidents that allegedly saw him choke ex-girlfriend Ronni Cantrell, according to Adam Sparks of USA Today.
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The alleged assaults happened on at least three occasions, and one of them was taped by Jones' Middle Tennessee State teammates Rodney O'Neal and Marcus Robinson, who were charged with two counts of aiding and abetting, and were arrested along with Jones on Saturday.
According to Sparks, the incidents in question occurred between October 2012 and May 2013. Jones has been charged with two counts of domestic aggravated assault.
Cantrell reportedly told police that the first incident occurred in October 2012 when Jones dragged her on the floor. The second and most-publicized alleged assault took place in November 2012, and was videotaped on a cell phone.
According to Sparks, the police report details what occurred during the alleged incident:
According to the police report, the video shows Jones choking Cantrell "from the front using one hand and then again choking her from behind using his arm." The police report continues, "The victim repeatedly asks him to stop but he and the others mock her as he continues to choke her while the other suspects narrate the video and say multiple times that 'this' happens all the time or every day."
A third incident allegedly occurred as well as Cantrell accused Jones of putting her in a head-lock when she refused to give him money to buy marijuana. After further refusals to give him money, Jones allegedly hit Cantrell with a "baseball-type bat," choked her and threw a football at her face.
The court date for the three MTSU players in question is set for Aug. 29, which coincides with the Blue Raiders' season-opening game against Western Carolina.
MTSU athletic director Chris Massaro is taking the charges very seriously and said that the suspensions will be upheld during the investigation:
In a statement, MTSU athletic director Chris Massaro said: "These are obviously troubling charges and these players will remain suspended while Public Safety and Judicial Affairs continue their investigations."
Neither the 20-year-old Jones nor his other suspended teammates were expected to be crucial factors for the Blue Raiders this season, but there is little doubt that MTSU's depth has taken a hit, and that will be the case for as long as the players are suspended.
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