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4th suspect charged in Univ. of Memphis football player's death

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A fourth man was charged with murder in the shooting of a football player on the University of Memphis campus during a botched robbery, authorities said.

Devin Jefferson, a 20-year-old student at the school, was arrested Monday night on allegations he told three other men the player was carrying a large amount of cash.

Authorities said Taylor Bradford, 21, was rumored to have won more than $3,000 at a nearby casino the night before police found him Sept. 30 in his car, which had crashed into a tree a few blocks from his campus apartment.

Jefferson was charged with first-degree murder in the perpetration of aggravated attempted robbery, Sgt. Vince Higgins said. It was unclear Tuesday if Jefferson had an attorney.

"Mr. Jefferson was the instigator of the robbery attempt," Higgins said. "Jefferson was the mastermind, but we had to build a case before we could arrest him."

The Memphis men, who were charged earlier Monday and are not students at the university, were identified as DaeShawn Tate, 21; Victor Trezevant, 21; and Courtney Washington, 22. Tate and Trezevant were being held on $1 million bond each, while Washington was held on $1.2 million bond.

"My client is very sorrowful as to what occurred and what his involvement was," said T. Darnell Flowers, an attorney for Tate. "At this point, though, what his involvement was is still unclear. The police are still trying to connect the dots. We want to make sure this wasn't a wrong place, wrong time thing."

One of 300 security cameras on campus helped lead to the arrests, said Bruce Harber, director of police services for the university. University President Shirley Raines said it was "troubling" that it appeared a university student was involved.

"The criminal justice system must still weigh in on the final judgment on this matter, but these arrests do confirm the original belief that this was a targeted attack and not a random act of violence," Raines said.

After the shooting, university officials told students, faculty and staff that the suspects had fled the campus, but the school canceled classes as a precaution.

Bradford, a Nashville native who transferred to Memphis from Samford University, was buried over the weekend.

In Mississippi, a man was charged Monday with capital murder in the shooting death of Rodney Lydale Lockhart, a University of Mississippi sprinter, police said.

Christian C. Bonner, 20, is accused of killing Lockhart, 20, who was found dead Sept. 29 at his apartment near campus, Oxford Police Chief Mike Martin said.

The junior psychology major was a member of the gold medal-winning U.S. 1,600-meter relay team in the 2006 World Junior Championships in Beijing.

Bonner was being held without bail at the Lafayette County Detention Center. It was not known whether he had an attorney.

Martin declined to give to a motive in the shooting case, but he said Bonner knew the victim. Bonner was not a student at the University of Mississippi, school spokesman Jeffrey Alford said.

Associated Press writers Antonio Gonzalez in Nashville, Tenn., and Shelia Byrd in Jackson, Miss., contributed to this report.