- Associated Press - Friday, January 9, 2015

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - A Faulkner University student was fatally shot when he rushed a homeowner in an attempt to steal marijuana, a Montgomery police detective testified Friday.

Detective Guy Naquin said Ryan Brooks, 19, a junior varsity football player from Chelsea, was found dead a block from the robbery attempt with a bandanna still covering his face. He was wearing clothing with the university’s name, which helped police identity him.

Naquin testified in a preliminary hearing for three other Faulkner University students. They face murder charges accusing them of participating in a crime that resulted in a death. Montgomery County District Judge Troy Massey ruled there was enough evidence to send their cases to a grand jury.

Naquin said some of the defendants told police that the group planned the robbery before leaving campus Dec. 3, and Brooks directed them to the house of a fellow Faulkner student in east Montgomery. He said one of the students lured out the homeowner, who was armed with a gun.

Al.com reported that he said the three defendants weren’t armed, but Brooks had a large hunting knife sheathed at his side.

A search of the home the next day did not turn up any drugs, he said.

Naquin said the shooting wasn’t witnessed by others in the middle class neighborhood, but surveillance cameras at a police officer’s house across the street captured much of what happened.

Ashley Smith, attorney for Tabias Russell, said his client did not participate in the death of Brooks, and the evidence points to that conclusion. The other defendants are Marshall Wall and Ronnie Williams.

David Vickers, attorney for Ronnie Williams, called the student’s death tragic and said it was also unfortunate that the students’ lives would never be the same regardless of the case’s outcome.

District Attorney Daryl Bailey said the case should send a message that violent crimes won’t be tolerated.

“Any time you have loss of life is tragic, but it’s tragic when you have young people who were in college at a good university who could have gone on to get a good education and good careers who decided to throw their lives away with stupid decisions,” he told the Montgomery Advertiser.


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