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DA drops charges against Vol Jackson; Kiffin to decide player's status

Staff Report • Nov 23, 2009 at 12:00 AM

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Prosecutors dropped attempted aggravated robbery charges against Tennessee freshman safety Janzen Jackson on Monday.

However, charges are still pending against two former teammates, Nu'Keese Richardson and Mike Edwards, both 18.

Jackson, 18, and Marie Montmarquet, 22, who was accused of acting as a getaway driver, are no longer facing three charges of attempted armed robbery in the alleged hold up of three men at a convenience store near Tennessee's Knoxville campus.

Jackson and Montmarquet did not know about the robbery beforehand and did not know anything happened until after they left the store, the Knox County District Attorney's office said in a press release.

"(Jackson) did not know any criminal activity was going to occur," said Jackson's attorney, Don Bosch. "He did not possess, use or plan to use marijuana. He was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time."

The three victims told police they were sitting in their parked vehicle just before 2 a.m. Nov. 12 when two males dressed in hooded jackets, one brandishing a gun, approached and said, "Give us everything you've got."

According to a police report, the victims opened their wallets to show they didn't have any money. The victims told police a third man came up and told the two men, "We've got to go," the report said.

The suspects were seen leaving in a Toyota Prius, and police pulled over a vehicle matching the description nearby, the report said. Police spotted a pellet gun and hooded jackets and later found drug paraphernalia and a bag of what appeared to be marijuana.

The victims later identified Richardson and Edwards as the robbers.

Bosch, Jackson's attorney, said he was happy the charges were dropped and hoped Jackson could play football again soon. The freshman has been banned from team activities since being arrested.

Coach Lane Kiffin dismissed Richardson and Edwards on Nov. 16 but said Sunday he hoped to have things with Jackson resolved quickly.

"We're waiting to get all our information in," he said.

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