Verdict expected for former CFL star accused of choking former girlfriend

CALGARY – A former Canadian Football League all-star accused of assaulting and choking his former girlfriend is expecting to hear a verdict today from the judge hearing his case.

Joffrey Reynolds, 33, was charged with assault causing bodily harm, common assault and breaking and entering with intent following a night of drinking last July.

His one-time girlfriend testified at his trial in Calgary that he tried to choke and smother her when she came home and found him in her bed.

Kaitlin Ward, 27, had dated Reynolds for six years before ending their relationship in December 2011 upon discovering he had been cheating on her.

She said they were still friends and were trying to determine if they could “salvage” their relationship when she allowed him to stay with her for a couple of days after his house went into foreclosure.

Ward testified she told Reynolds at a party that he had to get out of her house. She said Reynolds got angry and kicked her in the back of the leg.

When she went home later, she said, he was there waiting for her.

“I was shocked,” said Ward. “I went by the front door to shoo him out. That’s when he kind of tackled me.”

Ward told Judge Brian Stevenson that Reynolds was sitting on top of her.

“He’s smothering my mouth and choking me. Shoving his chin into my neck,” she said. “I was gasping for air at that point.”

Ward said Reynolds was yelling at her while he had his hands around her neck, pulled her to her feet by her hair and knocked her to the floor again.

“He kind of jumped from behind and put his knee into my back and started choking me again.”

Reynolds testified he had fallen asleep at Ward’s condo and woke to her hitting him in a jealous rage.

“She’s agitated. She says I’m a cheater and a liar and she’s yelling by now. I had my back turned to her and she hits me in the back and the head,” Reynolds told the court.

He said Ward, who is six-foot-five, is a strong woman and he wanted to calm her down. Reynolds is five-foot-10.

“She’s a tall, athletic woman. I’m kind of on edge. I kind of get her in a bear hug. She’s yelling to the point that she’s mad and crying.

“I did a kind of manoeuvre where I got a knee in her back and rode her to the ground. I restrained her. I’m trying to calm her down.”

Reynolds is from Texas and played college football at the University of Houston.

He played eight years for the Stampeders and was the franchise’s all-time leading rusher with 9,213 yards.

He was named a CFL all-star four times and won a Grey Cup championship with the Stampeders in 2008 before his release in 2012.




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