Suspects Arrested in College Athlete’s Murder

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Hartford, Conn.—Connecticut police have arrested four suspects in connection with the murder of University of Connecticut football player Jasper Howard, 20, which happened last month.

John Lomax III, 21, has been charged with murder and conspiracy to commit assault. His bail has been set at $2 million. Two other men, Hakim Muhammad, 20, and Jamal Todd, 21, have also been taken into custody. Muhammad faces a felony charge of conspiracy to commit assault, while Todd has been charged with one felony count of falsely reporting an incident and a misdemeanor count of reckless endangerment; he has been released on a $5,000 bond. Muhammed remains in jail with bail set at $750,000.

The fourth suspect, 18-year-old Christopher Mutchler, faces charges of hindering prosecution, committing an act of terrorism, and several other misdemeanors. He was found to have posted threatening messages online in relation to the attack.

The assault, which took place on campus during a school dance following the football team’s victory earlier that night, had many witnesses, none of whom initially came forward. It has been found that witnesses had been threatened by others in connection with the incident. Howard was stabbed in the abdomen, and pronounced dead at the hospital in the hours following.

The incident happened after Todd pulled a fire alarm inside of a building where the dance was held. Police say more than 300 people were exiting the building when a fight ensued between two groups. Howard and another man were stabbed during the melee. The second victim, 19-year-old Brian Parker, also a member of the University’s football team, has been treated for his injuries and was released from the hospital.

The case has caught the attention of more than 40 investigators, who have helped both campus and local police conduct more than 200 interviews of witnesses and anyone who might have more information. UConn president Michael Hogan has praised their efforts.

Prior to the arrests, anonymous tipsters gave video taken during the incident to police in hopes that they would reveal who was involved. From the video, police were able to find the three suspects, but believe more may have been involved.

“Our UConn Police Department has done an outstanding job – both investigating the case and ensuring the ongoing safety of our community throughout this difficult time,” Hogan wrote in a statement. “We continue to mourn the loss of our Jasper. Nothing can replace the void in our hearts left by his death.”

The University has set up the Jasper T. Howard Scholarship Fund in honor of the slain student athlete.

 

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