Earl Antonio Joiner murdered Heyzel Obando, 26, police said. (Mugshot: Fort Myers Police Department)

Earl Antonio Joiner murdered Heyzel Obando, 26, police said. (Mugshot: Fort Myers Police Department)

A former Florida college football player was sentenced to 25 years in prison for shooting his girlfriend to death. The probable cause affidavit previously indicated that the defendant, Earl Antonio Joiner, 37, may have killed Heyzel Obando, 26, in front of one of their young daughters.

One expert who interviewed the girls after their mother’s death reported that her “impression was that [redacted] may have witnessed her mother’s murder.”

“Poppy shooted mommy,” one of the young girls said to the pediatric nurse who examined her. “Mommy blood.”

“She was asked if her mommy talked or said any words after that,” the affidavit says. “She said ‘No.””

Joiner was adjudicated guilty on Monday on a charge of second-degree murder, Samantha Syoen, Communications Director at the Office of the State Attorney in the 20th Judicial Circuit, told Law&Crime. Prosecutors confirmed last month that both sides reached a plea deal.

Joiner was a former captain and safety for the University of Florida football team, the Florida Gators, from 2004 to 2007, playing under head coach Urban Meyer and serving as a team captain his senior year. As a senior, Joiner was teammates with future Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, who himself was convicted in one murder and acquitted in another.

An investigation revealed that Joiner subjected Obando, his girlfriend and the mother of his two daughters, to years of physical abuse, authorities said.

Those who knew the couple told investigators the two had a contentious relationship, marked by Joiner’s violent temper.

“One day, I’m going to kill you,” he allegedly said in one instance, according to the affidavit.

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