Men charged in murder of Memphis athlete

By Woody Baird

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Three men were charged with murder on Monday in the shooting of a football player on the University of Memphis campus during an attempted robbery, authorities said.

Taylor Bradford, 21, had 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.

Memphis Police Director Larry Godwin said the attackers intended to rob him, but didn’t get what they had come for.

“He was targeted because there was some information that was out there and they believed he had some cash,” Godwin said. “The investigation is ongoing, and we do expect additional arrests.”

The Memphis men, who are not students at the university, were identified as DaeShawn Tate, 21; Victor Trezevant, 21; and Courtney Washington, 22. All three were in police custody. It was not immediately known whether they had attorneys.

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.