REDWOOD CITY -- A Marin County personal trainer who fell into Bay waters during a fight with his wife pleaded not guilty Friday to trying to throw the woman off the San Mateo Bridge when the argument escalated into a car crash.

While Xavier Jarrell McClinton, 47, did not appear in court for medical reasons, defense attorney Anthony Brass entered a not guilty plea to one count each of attempted murder and domestic abuse, District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.

Prosecutors maintain that McClinton, who Brass said is displaying "strong symptoms of mental illness," attempted to throw his wife of eight years into the water Dec. 13 after he tried to drive off the bridge in his car.

McClinton, who co-owns Body by X Gym in Corte Madera with Nadia McClinton, began arguing with his wife as they drove east on Highway 92, then made a deliberate attempt to crash his Honda SUV through the guard rail about 2:25 p.m., prosecutors said.

When the car failed to break through the barrier, McClinton pulled his wife from the car and tried to toss her into the water, Wagstaffe said. A group of onlookers rushed to the woman's side and saved her from falling by grabbing each of her legs.

McClinton tumbled about 15 feet to the water below, and was later found clinging to a pier beneath the bridge. He was brought to safety and arrested at the San Leandro marina.


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While Xavier McClinton was uninjured in the incident, Nadia McClinton received a major gash to her face that required extensive suturing to close, Wagstaffe said. She told investigators her husband had been acting strangely and that he believed people were trying to break into their home and kill him.

The court issued a restraining order prohibiting McClinton from contacting his wife. He remains in jail on a no bail status.

Contact Erin Ivie at eivie@bayareaenewsgroup.com.