Meyer stays mum about Joiner arrest

Joiner during his tenure on the UF football team. 

Former UF defensive back Earl Antonio Joiner, also known as Tony Joiner, was arrested and charged on Saturday with the second-degree murder of his wife, Heyzel Obando.

Joiner was arrested in Lake Wales, Florida, after an arrest warrant was issued on Friday in connection with the 2016 murder, according to Yahoo! Sports.

Obando, 26 at the time, was found fatally shot in her Maple Crest Apartments home on Valentine’s Day 2016. Her death was ruled a murder two months later. Until Saturday, no arrests were made, according to Fort Myers News-Press.

Joiner, 33, was arrested twice before on the charge of domestic violence battery. The arrests took place in June and December 2013, the latter included another charge of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.

Joiner was also arrested for a probation violation just a month after Obando’s death but was released on May 8, 2016, according to arrest records.

Obando and Joiner had two children, ages 3 and 6. Permanent guardianship was given to Obando’s mother, Isabel Martinez, in 2017.

“Now that he is arrested, I hope he feels the weight of the law,” Martinez said in the News-Press article.

It is unknown why it took police over three years to arrest Joiner.

Joiner played for the Gators football team from 2004-2007 under coach Urban Meyer and is the second player from the 2007 team to be arrested for murder.

Former tight end Aaron Hernandez was arrested in 2013 for the murder of Odin Floyd and was convicted in 2015 of first-degree murder. Hernandez committed suicide in April 2017 while serving a life-sentence.

Joiner was being held without bond in the Polk County Jail for second-degree murder on Sunday and will be transferred to the Lee County Jail following his first appearance, according to

This is a developing story. 

Joseph Salvador is a Sports Journalism student at the University of Florida and was previously Sports Editor for Broward College's newspaper The Observer. He has been with the Alligator since Summer 2019.