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FSU RB James Wilder Jr. back in jail

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Fri. June 22, 2012 | Laura Keeley | Email

FSU RB James Wilder Jr. back in jail

Plant grad and Florida State running back James Wilder Jr. is back in jail and charged with violation of probation and is being held without bail, his lawyer, Tim Jansen, confirmed Friday. Jansen said he hopes to get Wilder in front of a judge next week, meaning he will be in jail until then.

According to the arrest affidavit that Jansen received, Wilder, 20, blew a 0.01 on a portable breathalyzer test when he reported to a sheriff's work camp as part of his probation. That's below the margin of error and not admissible in court, Jansen said.

"We find it highly suspicious that a football player was targeted for this test," Jansen said. "Why would they test him when he didn't smell of alcohol?"

Jansen also disputes another claim in the affidavit that alleges Wilder has yet to attend mandated anger management classes. Wilder has done four of the five, Jansen said. A call and email to James McQuaig, the public information officer for the Leon County Sheriff's office, was not immediately returned.

Regardless, Jansen will not be able to contest the charge on Wilder's behalf and potentially get him out of jail until he can see a judge next week.

Wilder was originally arrested Feb. 22 on felony charges of battery of an officer, firefighter or EMT and resisting an officer with violence, stemming from an incident in which police tried to arrest his girlfriend, Bianca Camarda, for failing to appear in court on a criminal mischief charge. When he appeared in court on April 4, Wilder pleaded no contest to a first-degree misdemeanor charge of resisting arrest without violence and was reinstated to the team.

"What happened was part of his original plea deal included sheriff workdays, where you have to show up at 7 a.m. with no alcohol in your system, and James is under 21 so he shouldn't have any alcohol in his system anyway," Jansen said. "They gave him a breath test and he blew a low amount, but there was alcohol so that was a violation of the workday, which was a violation of probation."

Wilder failed the test a few weeks ago, Jansen said, but a warrant was released either late last night or early this morning. The timing was fortunate for Wilder, who finished his summer semester Friday.

"If he would have been in jail, he would have missed the exam and failed," Jansen said. "And he would have been ineligible this fall."

Jansen has been in contact with FSU coach Jimbo Fisher, he said. Jansen didn't know what the football-related repercussions would be, but Wilder will not automatically be suspended, as his violation of probation is a misdemeanor.

Wilder appeared in 12 games for FSU as a true freshman. He rushed for 160 yards and one touchdown on 35 attempts and caught two passes for 14 yards. Fisher has been encouraged by his performance in the Seminoles spring practices.

"I was very pleased with the spring he had," Fisher told the Times May 5. "He catches the ball out of the backfield, he blocks, he runs with power. He's much quicker and faster than people think. He can really add a different dimension to our team.

"Sometimes a mistake like that … it made him realize how much he loves ball, how much his future meant to him. He's been outstanding since then."

After transferring from Chamberlain to Plant before his junior year, Wilder led the Panthers to a Class 5A state title in 2010 and a state runnerup finish his senior year. After MaxPreps named him the top recruit before his senior year, he rushed for 1,597 yards and 22 touchdowns and also recorded 75 tackles and eight sacks.

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