Meyer releases Hornsby after credit card incident

Coach Urban Meyer released Jamar Hornsby on Friday.

Sun file photo
Published: Friday, May 9, 2008 at 9:05 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, May 9, 2008 at 7:02 p.m.

Florida safety Jamar Hornsby was released on his own recognizance Friday morning after he turned himself in on felony charges of credit card theft and fraudulent use of a credit card.

Alachua County Sheriff's Office deputies said Hornsby, 21, charged close to $3,000 on a credit card issued to Ashley Slonina, a University of Florida student who died in an October 2007 motorcycle accident in which walk-on UF football player, Michael Guilford, also was killed.

Florida football coach Urban Meyer kicked Hornsby off the team following his second brush with the law in the span of 13 months. In April of 2007, Hornsby was cited on a misdemeanor criminal mischief charges when he tossed a man on a hood of a car during a fight, causing about $750 in damages.

"He is not part of our program," Meyer said in a statement released Friday.

Hornsby's attorney, Huntley Johnson, said Hornsby would likely spend a portion of the time with his mother in Jacksonville until his next court appearance. Johnson said that Hornsby intends to cooperate with authorities.

The card abuse began on Oct. 13, 2007, the day after Slonina's death, according to court records and involved a BP gas card. According to Alachua County Sheriff's Authorities, Hornsby made 70 charges — 33 in Alachua County and 37 in Duval County.

Authorities were first alerted of the credit card fraud after Slonina's family noticed charges on the fleet card they could not explain. The card charges spanned from October to early April.

Hornsby made his first court appearance at 9 a.m. Friday and was released at 9:30 a.m. He was given a curfew of 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. by Judge William E. Davis in Alachua County Court.

In explaining Hornsby's release, Judge Davis said that any money spent on a bondsman would be money that would not be available as restitution for the family. Under a deferred prosecution agreement in which his previous criminal mischief charges were dropped, Hornsby was supposed to stay out of trouble for the next 18 months.

Addressing the judge, ASO detective Sandra Myers said this was an emotional situation for the Slonina family because it was not a couple of incidents of charges to their daughter's credit card, but an ongoing occurrence. In a formal complaint filed in Alachua County court earlier this week, Slonina's father, John, said Hornsby helped clean out his daughter and Guilford's apartment the day following their death.

Staff writer Karen Voyles contributed to this story

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