KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Three UT football players are now facing charges of armed robbery.
A member of the UT Sports Information Department confirmed to us that Nu'Keese Richardson, 18, Janzen Jackson, 18, and Michael Edwards, 18, 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 victims told police that they didn't have any money to give the robbers, and the suspects then 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."
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.
They're being held at the Knox County Jail. Jackson's bond is set at $15,000, Richardson's and Edaward's at $19,500 and Montmarquet's bond is set at $16,000.
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.”