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Three former UT Martin football players arraigned in campus robbery, kidnapping

Three former UT Martin football players arraigned in campus robbery, kidnapping
News Editor
Linebacker Cortez Bowen, jersey No. 35, made one assisted tackle Nov. 10 in UT Martin’s football game against Tennessee Tech.
Two days later, just before midnight Nov. 12, Bowen and two former UTM football players, along with a 17 year-old juvenile male, allegedly robbed and kidnapped two UTM students at gunpoint, making off with $700 cash and marijuana.
All three adult suspects — Bowen, Richard L. Taylor and Jeremy L. Anderson — were arraigned Wednesday in Weakley County General Sessions court, each charged with two counts of aggravated robbery and two counts of aggravated kidnapping.
Bond for Bowen and Taylor was set at $150,000 each. Anderson is being held without bond. Their next court appearance is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. this Wednesday.
Bowen, 21, of Memphis is no longer with the football team, school officials said Monday. He is a sophomore with no declared major. Sometime between the alleged crime and the day after the arraignment, Bowen’s name was deleted from UTM’s team roster posted on the official athletics department website.
Bowen had nine tackles — four solo tackles, five assisted — in nine games played for the Skyhawks this season. Statistically, his best game was against Southeast Missouri on Oct. 20, when he made three solo tackles and one assisted tackle.
Taylor, 19, of Nashville started the 2012 season as a UTM football player and is listed in the team’s media guide. He was dismissed from the team in September for violation of team rules, according to UTM spokesman Bud Grimes. Taylor is a freshman majoring in health and human performance licensure K-12.
Anderson, 22, of Knoxville was also a member of the football team but was dismissed in the summer for violation of team rules. He was never listed on the official 2012 roster. Anderson is a senior health and human performance major.
The stolen money and at least some of the stolen marijuana were recovered when Anderson was arrested, according to Scott Robbins, UTM’s director of public safety. A total of 43 grams of marijuana was recovered — 22.3 grams in Anderson’s vehicle and another 20.7 grams at the residence where Anderson was arrested, Robbins said.
UTM athletics director Phil Dane confirmed Monday that all three – Bowen, Taylor and Anderson – were no longer with the team due to unspecified violation of team rules. He declined further comment.
The incident began about 11:45 p.m. on Nov. 14, according to Robbins.
The suspects stopped a car driven by the victims near University Village Phase I apartments, the eastern-most of the new apartment-style facilities on campus, Robbins said.
Two suspects — one armed with a shotgun, the other a handgun — got into the car driven by the victims, Robbins said. (Robbins declined to say which two suspects wielded the guns.)
The victims were then forced to drive to another area of campus, at which point one of the victims was put into another car and held hostage, Robbins said. Meanwhile, the other victim was forced to go to a dorm and retrieve drugs and $700 cash, Robbins said.
UTM police were called at 12:33 a.m., according to Robbins.
Both victims were injured in the incident, with one of them taken to a hospital for treatment and released a few hours later.
UTM police investigated the case, while Martin city police assisted with the investigation.
Published in The WCP 11.20.12