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Ex-Buc pleads no contest to charges

A former Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver accused of choking his wife and attacking several sheriff's deputies who came to her aid pleaded no contest Tuesday to some of the charges against him. Prosecutors dropped the spouse-battery charge against Gordon Jones because his wife, who had called the sheriff's office for help, refused to cooperate in the investigation.

Jones faces up to three-and-a-half years in prison for four counts of battery on a police officer and resisting arrest with violence, prosecutors said. He will be sentenced Nov. 21.

On Tuesday, Jones appeared in court with his wife, Laura, at his side. The couple declined to comment, except Mrs. Jones said, "We've already suffered enough."

In June, Mrs. Jones called 911 when her husband tried to strangle her, prosecutors said. When deputies arrived, they found bruises on Mrs. Jones' neck. Jones attacked the deputies when they tried to write a report about the incident.

Jones, who stands 6 feet 4 and weighs 190 pounds, grabbed one deputy by the shirt and threw him across the room, prosecutors said. He held another officer in a headlock, shoved several others and grabbed a kitchen knife to hold the deputies at bay.

It took six deputies to subdue the 33-year-old man, prosecutors said.

Larry Scott, a lawyer representing Jones, called the prosecutors' version of the incident "slightly exaggerated." He declined to comment further.

Until his arrest in June, Jones had worked as a jail deputy for the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. He was placed on administrative leave after the scuffle and resigned June 15, sheriff's officials said.

Between 1979 and 1986, Jones was a wide receiver for the Buccaneers, the Los Angeles Rams, the Los Angeles Raiders and the Chicago Bears. He had no previous criminal record, prosecutors said.