Former Florida State University Running Back Mario Pender Pleads Not Guilty to Battery Charge


Former Florida State University running back Mario Pender, who was arrested on domestic battery charges over the weekend, will plead not guilty his Tallahassee attorney Tim Jansen said Tuesday. 

Pender, 22, was dismissed from the football team Saturday evening and also faces charges of resisting an officer without violence.

Jansen, who also represented former FSU quarterback Jameis Winston during an investigation into sexual assault allegations in 2013, said he is requesting all evidence held by prosecutors be shared. He also is requesting any exculpatory evidence beneficial to Pender be turned over.

“We’re going to do our own investigation and we hope to get it resolved in a favorable disposition,” said Jansen, who met with Pender Monday and was retained today.

A Tallahassee Police Department report released early Sunday morning said the incident occurred during an argument on Sharkey Street, a little more than a half mile south of Doak Campbell Stadium.

A 911 caller told dispatchers about 9:50 a.m. that a man and a woman had been arguing in the front yard. The two then started walking down the street. At one point, the man dragged the woman by the hair about 50 feet to the house. The caller told dispatchers similar incidents involving the two had occurred before.

The first TPD officer on the scene heard a woman screaming inside the one-story home and a man yelling at her. Court documents said the officer pushed the front door open and found Pender straddling the woman with his hands around her neck.

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Source: Tallahassee Democrat | Karl Etters