EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: 3 Vols arrested for alleged attempted robbery

By: Staff Email
By: Staff Email

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Two of three UT football players facing attempted armed robbery charges have been released from jail.

Don Bosch, attorney for Janzen Jackson, 18, says Jackson was released on his own recognizance. Michael Edwards, 18, was also released on bond.

Nu'Keese Richardson, 18, Edwards and Jackson were arrested 2:00 a.m. Thursday.

The incident happened at the Pilot convenience store on Cumberland Avenue.

Knoxville Police spokesman Darrell DeBusk says the three victims told officers that they were outside the Pilot waiting for a friend who was inside the store, when they were approached by three black men with a gun who demanded that they victims "give us everything you've got." The suspect were wearing black hoodies.

"(They) put a gun to my face and said, 'give me everything you've got.' And I said, 'I'm sorry, I'm broke,' " one of the robbery victims, Corey Zickefoose, says. "I knew he wasn't gonna shoot nobody. I could tell, he was hesitating."

The victims told police when they told the suspects that they didn't have any money, they took off in a Toyota Prius, apparently driven by a woman.

Officers stopped the suspect vehicle on near Gibbs Hall on Lake Loudoun Blvd.

"A felony stop was conducted on the vehicle," DeBusk says in the news release. "Four subjects were detained from the vehicle...In plain view, officers observed two black hoodies in the back seat [sic]. Underneath the back seat towards the middle, officers located a black, CO2 powered pellet gun."

"I thought the gun was real," victim Corey Smith says.

Investigators also found what appeared to be marijuana in a plastic baggie, in addition to a marijuana grinder. The female driver, Marie Montmarquet, 22, told officers the grinder were her's, DeBusk says. The apparent bag of marijuana was found in Montmarquet's jacket, DeBusk says.

Richardson, Edwards and Jackson were taken into custody, along with the woman.

The players are each charged with three counts of attempted armed robbery. Montmarquet is charged with three counts of attempted armed robbery, simple possession of scheduled VI and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Her attorney, Gerg Isaacs calls her an excellent student, and says she's a former legislative intern with the state house.

"Our investigation confirms she has nothing to do with any of the allegations," he says. "We're aggressively working with the prosecution to get this matter resolved."

Richardson and Edwards are being held at the Knox County Jail. Their bond is set at $19,500. Montmarquet's bond is set at $16,000.

Bosch says, "Mr. Jackson vehemently asserts his innocence and hopes to demonstrate that in the next 24 to 48 hours."

It's not clear what, if any, punishment the Athletics Department will level against the players.

"They can just let em play football, they'll be all right," Smith says.

"I think it should be up to the coaches, I don't know," Zickefoose says, adding, despite the severity of the charges, "I still love Tennessee, though. If it's gonna help out the team, I'm gonna go for that."

UT Athletics Director Mike Hamilton released the following statement Thursday morning:

"At this time we are currently evaluating the circumstances surrounding an incident involving Mike Edwards, Janzen Jackson and Nu’Keese Richardson.

Any decisions or comments regarding their status will not be made until the evaluations are complete.”


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  • by Cajun Location: Louisiana on Nov 21, 2009 at 08:39 AM
    I applaud the NCAA and American Sports for recognizing that athletics are above the law...if a criminal act is committed; a suspension of 1/2 game is adequate; murder should warrant 1 full game suspension...as for the female, she would only be considered an 'accomplice' if she weren't in the company of athletes..so she should be protected by the Hearst Amendment... Just for the record: this is the reason "Vigilante Committees' were formed: "BS legal systems"
  • by kyle Location: Clarksville on Nov 15, 2009 at 03:18 AM
    @dan all three were not even allowed to practice or be a part of any team function since the arrest. They weren't even in Oxford for the game.
  • by Charles Location: Lake Charles, LA on Nov 14, 2009 at 07:10 PM
    These children need to realize that grown up decisions comes with grown up cnsequences. The days of being slapped on the wrist are gone. We need to teach these kids that they are resposible for the decisions that they make and thy must reap what they sow. I pray these children learn from this and that they have not destroyed the opportunity they have for an education and the experience and privilege of playing in the NCAA. Life is choice driven. We live and die by the choices we make.
  • by lh Location: ky on Nov 14, 2009 at 07:41 AM
    Attempted armed robbery is the real deal, if found guilty, kick them off the team for a year at minimum, and they should spend some time in jail too hopefully. Armed robbery and terrorizing people is not a prank. I do not want anyone pulling a friggin gun on me and asking for my hard earned money. Behind bars is where they belong.
  • by Keith Location: Tampa on Nov 13, 2009 at 11:11 PM
    Hey, Nu'Keese. Got any interest in dog fighting?
  • by Dcharles Location: Knoxville on Nov 13, 2009 at 09:59 PM
    This is ridiculous... How can anyone charged with attempted armed robbery walk away from the system without posting a bond? Also, the athletic department and coach Kiffin should revoke the scholarships of all involved, the school should expell all (even the grinning woman), and they should go to jail. The victims should be checked for stupidity if the statements of "it's ok" attributed to them are correct, and the nation as a whole must begin to look at these out-of-control athletes who believe they're beyond the law. This lack of personal accountability is destroying this country and aren't we getting tired of it? UT- when does it stop?
  • by CCWguy Location: Oak Ridge on Nov 13, 2009 at 09:03 PM
    Seems to me they are just a few dumb kids trying to entertain themselves. They probably didn't think it could be as serious as it actually is, since they were using a pellet gun. In my opinion they are just lucky they did not encounter an armed citizen. Just let the legal system do it's job, and be glad that the headline doesn't read " UT Vols shot after attempted robbery with a BB gun"
  • by paradisepete73 Location: Corryton on Nov 13, 2009 at 02:52 PM
    Damning as it appears for the moment, these kids are innocent till proven guilty! Yes, being out at that time of the morning usually brings trouble. But this is a matter that the team, Coach Kiffin, and U.T. will resolve on THEIR terms, whatever that may be. If the kids are guilty, then they will face up to what they have done, and I imagine punishment will be harsh. But how many of us have been guilty of making bad judgements at age 18, and 19? although usually it is not this extreme, I can't help but wonder if this will be a learning experience for them, and Vol nation. Let those w/o sin cast the first stone, here in the Bible belt! Justice will run the course on this situation. The coaches are handling this well, and things will run its course. Be patient! The best thing to do is to support the rest of the kids, on the team, that seem to avoid trouble, and hope for good things for them, now and in the future. How many of you could live under the microscope, like that, at their age?
  • by dan Location: gainesville on Nov 13, 2009 at 12:33 PM
    I dont know what's worse; that three players are arrested for armed robbery or its OK with their intended victims that they are allowed to play football. They must really be hurting for victories in Knoxville if that is the case. Seriously, these players need to face the law and the victims need to get some serious self esteem counseling. "Oh, I had my life threatened but its OK if it helps the Vols." I want the Gators to win to but not at that price.
  • by David Location: Knoxville on Nov 13, 2009 at 10:07 AM
    Why have the signs that say "Gun crimes equals hard times", all around Knoxville, if they are not going to be enforced? Just because they are football players doesn't make them any different than anyone else! As for Janzen... if he saw what was going on when he walked out, why didn't he just walk away, instead of telling the driver and his team mates "We gotta go!"? You can be guilty of a crime by association, whether you knew it was going on or not! I say Lane should kick all 3 of them off the team! If he doesn't just think how well this will set with the national media?


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