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Charges dropped against FIU players


Charges dropped against FIU players

Charges dropped against two former FIU players

The Associated Press

MIAMI ? Two former Florida International football players no longer face charges in an on-campus robbery attempt in which one of them allegedly shot out the window of an occupied car.

Charges were dropped earlier this week against Everett Baker, 21, and Diamos DeMerritt, 22. Baker had been charged with attempted murder for allegedly firing into an occupied car. He also had been charged with armed robbery, possession of a weapon on school grounds and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

DeMerritt and Randy Arnold, 21, also had been charged in the attempted robbery. Arnold had adjudication withheld and was put on five years? probation.

Miami-Dade County State Attorney?s spokesman Ed Griffith could not immediately say why the charges were dropped Monday. The three were on the football team at the time, but they were kicked out of school after the charges.

Two students were in a car in July 2004 when the players and two other suspects pointed guns at them and demanded they get out of the vehicle, according to a police report. The victims refused and one of the attackers hit a man in the car in the face with a gun, police said. The victim suffered a bruise on his lip.

The victims drove off and Baker fired a shot into the car, breaking a window and causing other damage, police said.

??The state realized that there really was no evidence of Mr. DeMerritt?s involvement,?? said his lawyer, Stephen Goldstein.

Defense lawyers for the two other players didn?t return calls seeking comment Friday. FIU athletic director Rick Mello said the school can?t comment on the situation as an athletics matter.??

??In accordance with university policy, they have to have their status as full-time students determined by the university?s student judicial system,?? Mello said.

In March 2001, Leon County Sheriff?s deputies charged Arnold with exhibition of a destructive device on school property, carrying a concealed firearm and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without attempt to kill, all felonies. Florida Department of Law Enforcement records didn?t say how the charges were resolved.

Arnold was expelled from Lincoln High that month and transferred to Florida A&M High for the 2002 school year. That season, FAMU High had to forfeit five wins because Arnold was declared ineligible under Florida prep rules because of his arrest and expulsion.

President of the No Homers Club. Keepin' it real since 2001.
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