Charges against BSU hall of famer stem from incidents over 3 months

Arnell Jones beat the victim in the domestic abuse case against him during six incidents that took place between April 2 and June 23, prosecutors allege in a grand jury indictment issued Tuesday.

He choked the woman on two occasions, punched her in the face, kicked her in the leg and twice punched her in the eye, according to the indictment.

Jones, 49, a member of the Boise State University Athletic Hall of Fame and the 1987 Big Sky Conference player of the year, was arrested the day the indictment was issued.

The Meridian resident remains in the Ada County Jail on $1 million bail.

Boise attorney Ed Guerricabeitia, who represents Jones, filed a motion Thursday seeking to have the bail reduced. He asked for bail to be reset at an amount “commensurate with his lack of a prior, similar charge (and) his local ties to the community.”

A hearing on the motion has been set for 1:30 p.m. Wednesday before 4th District Judge Patrick Owen. At the same time, he will be arraigned on four counts of domestic battery with traumatic injury and two counts of attempted strangulation. All six charges are felonies.

The Boise Police Department declined to provide details on the incidents that led to Jones’ arrest. A spokesman said the department wants to protect the victim in the case. The Statesman is witholding her name for the same reason.

The indictment was not publicly available until Friday, following a public records request from the Statesman. The Ada County Prosecutor’s Office declined to allow a reporter to view the indictment following Jones’ initial court appearance Wednesday.

Jones, who played for the Broncos for only two seasons after earning junior college All-America honors with San Jose City, is considered one of the top basketball players in Boise State history. The forward is one of only four conference MVPs in school history, having led the Broncos to a Big Sky Conference championship and NCAA Tournament berth in 1988. He led the nation in field goal shooting during the 1987-88 season, finished his two seasons with 967 points and 462 rebounds, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1996.

He has had previous run-ins with the law, including a 1988 assault charge in Garden City. He later pleaded guilty to disturbing the peace and paid a $139 fine.

Jones pleaded guilty to battery in a 1995 Boise case. He was sentenced to 90 days in jail for that, with all but three days suspended.

In 2001 and 2002, he was found guilty of selling alcohol to minors at a bar he owned, Shorty’s C&W Saloon.

From 2002 to 2005, Jones operated the Les Bois horse racing track under contract with Ada County. The county later suspended the track’s liquor license after learning of Jones’ convictions in the Shorty’s cases. Unsafe track conditions at the time also led to at least two walkouts by jockeys. The county ultimately revoked its contract with Jones after financial disputes and allegations that Jones had failed to maintain the track.