California JUCO basketball players arrested in connection with murder
Two basketball players from Allan Hancock Community College in Santa Maria, Calif., were arrested Saturday in connection with a 2014 murder and are being held on $1 million bail, a KEYT News report said.
Lavell White, 22, and Ali Mohammed, 19, are being held in Santa Barbara County Jail in relation to the murder of 23-year-old former Allan Hancock student Terrence Richardson. The two men were arrested by the Santa Maria Police Department SWAT team "as a result of evidence and interviews." The murder took place on Dec. 30.
A spokesman for the college said the school had no indication the two were being investigated for murder until after the arrests took place.
“We were not aware that those two individuals were being investigated until they were arrested,” associate dean Kim Ensing told the Lompoc Record.
Both players have been kicked off of the team, and their biographies have been removed from the basketball team's website.
On Sunday, representatives from the college were still "trying to understand all the details" of the incident, the school's sports information specialist said in a statement, according to The Record. The statement went on:
"The arrests clearly do not meet the high standards our student-athletes have maintained for many years.
"In light of the arrests, the two student-athletes have been removed from the men’s basketball team for conduct detrimental to the team. Their alleged behavior does not reflect, in any way, Allan Hancock College’s mission and core values, nor the thousands of students-athletes who have thrived and graduated for decades."
White, a 6-foot-6 guard, was the team's leading scorer and had logged a double-double (11 points, 10 rebounds) as recently as Wednesday in the team's win over Moorpark College.
- Will Green