Tennessee safety won't face charges

Updated: November 23, 2009, 7:37 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Prosecutors dropped attempted aggravated robbery charges against Tennessee freshman safety Janzen Jackson on Monday.

However, charges are still pending against two former teammates, Nu'Keese Richardson and Mike Edwards, both 18.

Jackson, 18, and Marie Montmarquet, 22, who was accused of acting as a getaway driver, are no longer facing three charges of attempted armed robbery in the alleged holdup of three men at a convenience store near Tennessee's Knoxville campus.

Jackson and Montmarquet did not know about the robbery beforehand and did not know anything happened until after they left the store, the Knox County District Attorney's office said in a news release.

The decision to drop the charges "was made after an intensive investigation by the Knoxville Police Department, numerous interviews of persons with any relevant information on these charges and reviews of more than 10 hours of video and audio records related to the charges," according to the statement from Knox County District Attorney General Randy Nichols.

"[Jackson] did not know any criminal activity was going to occur," Don Bosch, Jackson's attorney, said. "He did not possess, use or plan to use marijuana. He was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time."

Richardson and Edwards were dismissed from the team after the incident; Jackson remains on the team, but is barred from any activities with the team.

Tennessee athletic department public relations director Tiffany Carpenter said the school would not be making any decision on Jackson's status Monday, and there was no timetable for such a decision, according to a report in the Knoxville News Sentinel.

The three victims told police they were sitting in their parked vehicle just before 2 a.m. local time Nov. 12, when two males dressed in hooded jackets, one brandishing a gun, approached and said, "Give us everything you've got."

According to a police report, the victims opened their wallets to show they didn't have any money. The victims told police a third man came up and told the two men, "We've got to go," the report said.

The suspects were seen leaving in a Toyota Prius, and police pulled over a vehicle matching the description nearby, the report said. Police spotted a pellet gun and hooded jackets and later found drug paraphernalia and a bag of what appeared to be marijuana.

The victims later identified Richardson and Edwards as the robbers.

Montmarquet, also a Tennessee student, is still charged with possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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