Girlfriend defends ex-Gator in court; bail reduced

The woman told a judge the former cornerback is not a danger to her.


Published: Wednesday, January 20, 2010 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 20, 2010 at 10:15 a.m.

Ex-Gator player charged in choking girl posts bail

(Updated 10:15 a.m.)

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Wondy Pierre-Louis

ALACHUA COUNTY JAIL

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Former University of Florida football player Wondy Pierre-Louis accused of choking his girlfriend has been released from the Alachua County Jail after posting bail.

The former Gators cornerback turned himself in Tuesday on several charges, including domestic battery by strangulation. He appeared in court later that day.

Jail officials said he posted the $40,000 bail early Wednesday morning.

The victim initially told police Pierre-Louis choked her. She then disputed the claims when he appeared in court.

State attorney's office spokesman Spencer Mann said the victim disputing the claims won't change the investigation and charging decision.

Pierre-Louis recently completed his senior season but has not graduated. He's a native of Haiti.

Girlfriend defends ex-Gator in court; bail reduced

The girlfriend of a former University of Florida football player spoke in his defense Tuesday morning as he appeared in court in connection with allegations that he choked her Sunday after finding her asleep with another man.

Wondy Pierre-Louis was arrested after turning himself in at the Alachua County jail at 2:16 a.m. Tuesday on a warrant charging him with kidnapping, domestic battery by strangulation, battery, unarmed burglary and obstructing justice by tampering.

The crimes are alleged to have occurred around 5:30 a.m. Sunday at his girlfriend's apartment at 3700 Windmeadows Blvd.

Police Detective Joe Mayo said the woman apparently was in the apartment asleep in the same bed with another man when Pierre-Louis arrived.

Pierre-Louis is accused of entering the apartment by kicking in the door and breaking the door frame, then pulling the sheets from over the victim and the other man, an action that prompted the other man to flee the apartment, Mayo said. Pierre-Louis is accused of then pinning the woman against a counter and choking her, according to court records.

"He makes some threats and she tries to call 911, but he grabbed the phone," Gainesville Police Capt. Ed Book said. "She was able to get away from him long enough to escape, run outside and call for help."

The woman appeared in court Tuesday to speak in support of Pierre-Louis. At her side was Pierre-Louis' attorney, Amy Osteryoung.

"He's not a danger," the woman told County Judge Walter Green. "I do not fear for my life."

The woman said Pierre-Louis had a key to her home and would not have had a reason to kick down the door. Mayo said photographs taken at the scene show the significantly damaged door and other evidence that the woman alleged when she first reported the crime.

The woman also told Green there were errors in the written police report - that authorities had not correctly understood what she told them about the incident -- and that she had been trying to reach detectives to get the report changed.

Mayo said the police report was based on what the woman had told officers. However, he said he was not surprised the woman offered a second version of events.

"In domestic violence cases this does happen that people recant their versions of events," Mayo said.

Green reduced Pierre-Louis' bail from $185,000 to $40,000.

Pierre-Louis was a cornerback on the football team and recently completed his senior season. He is a native of Haiti and learned that his parents are alive and well after last week's earthquake, but their family home was destroyed.

Contact Karen Voyles at 359-5656 or voylesk@gvillesun.com.

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