MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee State University football player J.D. Jones is accused of choking his former girlfriend while teammates videotaped and narrated the incident, according to a campus police report.
Jones, a 20-year-old defensive tackle, is also accused of choking the same victim, 19-year-old MTSU student Ronni Cantrell, until she agreed to give him money to buy marijuana, among numerous incidents that occurred between October 2012 and May 2013 and resulted in his arrest on two counts of domestic aggravated assault.
Two other MTSU players - cornerback Rodney O'Neal and defensive tackle Marcus Robinson - were charged with two counts of aiding and abetting, according to the Rutherford County Detention Center. All three MTSU players were arrested on Saturday and suspended from the Blue Raider football team.
An arrest warrant for aiding and abetting was issued for Molly Roos, another 19-year-old MTSU student, who was present at the videotaped incident, according to the police report.
Iman Smith, a redshirt freshman linebacker for MTSU, was also listed as a suspect and present for at least one of the alleged assaults, according to the police report, but he has not been charged with a crime.
Jones declined comment when reached by phone Monday afternoon. Robinson, O'Neal, Roos and Cantrell did not respond to text messages.
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."
Jones was held on $60,000 bond, O'Neal on $40,000 and Robinson on $5,000 on Saturday. The court date for all three MTSU players is Aug. 29, the same day as MTSU's season-opening game versus Western Carolina.
Only Jones is a factor on the field among the MTSU players charged. Jones, a rising sophomore from Cartersville, Ga., was projected to be in the Blue Raiders' rotation at defensive tackle. He had 14 tackles in 12 games last season, but he sat out spring practice with an injury. Robinson and O'Neal, both rising sophomores, did not play in a game last season.
Cantrell, from Knoxville, accused Jones of numerous assaults over an eight-month period. She recalled details of three specific incidents, according to the police report.
Cantrell told police the first incident occurred last October when Jones "grabbed her from under an elevated bed and dragged her out of her friend's room" in Scarlett Commons Apartments room 433A to the kitchen." She said she suffered only minor injuries, including a broken finger nail.
The second incident, which was videotaped on a cell phone, occurred in the same apartment last November.
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."
In the video, Roos - Cantrell's friend from Knoxville - is seen and heard attempting to stop Jones from choking Cantrell, according to police, but Roos is threatened by the other males, at which time she backed away.
According to the police report, Jones is 6-foot-3, 295 pounds, and Cantrell is 5-3, 115 pounds.
A copy of the video tape is being kept in the case file. It will not be made public until submitted in court.
According to the police report, the third incident Cantrell could recall in detail occurred in Scarlett Commons apartment 234. She told police Jones asked her for money to buy marijuana. When she refused, Jones allegedly put her in a head-lock until she agreed to give him money.
Then in the breezeway of the apartment complex, Cantell refused again to give Jones money and he hit her hard with a pink baseball-type bat on the legs and back, leaving bruises and other injuries, according to the police report. After she refused to give him money a third time, Jones choked her again, the report states. She then hit him in the groin, and he released her, according to the report.
After walking away, Cantrell looked back and Jones allegedly threw a football at her face, which caused her to fall to the ground. Cantrell told police the same people were present for the videotaped incident and this final incident.
MTSU head coach Rick Stockstill will be in Dallas Tuesday and Wednesday for Conference USA Media Day. The Blue Raiders report to preseason camp on Aug. 1.
Adam Sparks writes for The Daily News Journal, a Gannett property.