- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 10, 2014

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) - Republican state Sen. Tom Whatley of Auburn said Wednesday that his arrest on a misdemeanor domestic violence charge did not result from any violence toward his fiancee.

Auburn police booked Whatley into the county jail in Opelika Tuesday night on a charge of third-degree domestic violence, Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones said. Whatley was released on $500 bond Wednesday morning.

Jones said he was not familiar with what prompted the arrest. Auburn Police Chief Paul Register said his department has a policy of not commenting on charges involving domestic matters.

Whatley issued a statement through his attorney saying police were apparently in his neighborhood Tuesday night because of a report of a homeless person sleeping in the area and the officers heard him and his fiancee, Lindsay Waits.

“Lindsay and I were out on my back porch and were involved in a discussion, but we were not violent to one another. I love Lindsay and I would never be violent toward her,” the senator said.

Waits also issued a statement through Whatley’s attorney saying neither she nor any neighbors contacted police, and there was no violence involved by either Whatley or her. “Neither would ever hurt the other and I consider this matter to have been a misunderstanding,” she said.

Whatley is a lawyer who was elected to the Senate in 2010 and re-elected in November.

A conviction for third-degree domestic violence carries up to a year in jail and a $6,000 fine.

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