HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) -- Marshall wide receiver Troy Evans' family wants answers concerning his arrest on armed robbery charges that later were dropped.
The Associated Press reports that Evans' adoptive father, Tommie Turner, and Turner's business partner sent a letter last month to Huntington Mayor Kim Wolfe requesting an investigation of the circumstances surrounding the player's arrest. They say they had to investigate the case themselves.
Turner and business partner Kevin Gors are former police officers who run an investigations and security firm.
Cabell County prosecutor Chris Chiles and Huntington Police Chief Skip Holbrook say Evans wouldn't have been arrested if he and alibi witnesses had told police of their whereabouts early in the investigation.
Wolfe says he doesn't plan to take any action and he turned the letter over to Chiles.
Evans had a spirit of forgiveness less than an hour after learning armed robbery charges against him were dropped.
“I think they had enough evidence in the beginning to make him a person of interest in the case," said Rich Weston, Evans' attorney. "Whether they made the right decisions, I don't know, but they did the right thing in the end and dropped the charges and that's all we care about."
“It met the standard of an arrest. That's a standard we routinely follow,” Huntington Police Department Chief Skip Holbrook said.
Holbrook says officers arrested Evans based on several things, starting with victims identifying him as the suspect in a photo lineup. Evans landed in that lineup after police found him in surveillance video from a nearby convenience store within a half hour of the robberies.
Holbrook says Evans also initially lied about his alibi and didn't tell the truth until nearly a week later.
“Had the information that was brought forward a week later been brought forward immediately, we wouldn't be having this conversation today,” Holbrook said.
"Troy's never been in trouble in his life. I think he was nervous when he went in and talked to police initially. I don't think they're untruths. I think he didn't lay some things out. He left some holes. Once police talked to some other people, it all came together," Weston said.
“Our job is to seek justice and as additional information comes forward, we adjust,” Cabell County Prosecutor Chris Chiles said.
As for Evans, he keeps a constant reminder nearby of where his justice comes from.
“God hears all and sees all, and whenever I need help, I get down on my knees and pray and everything will be alright,” he said.
The bad news in all of this is there's still an armed robber on the loose, and police say their investigation continues as they search for a new suspect.
The Marshall University wide receiver was arrested on robbery charges August 30.
Evans was scheduled to have a preliminary hearing on the charges on Friday morning. He was released on bail Tuesday.
According to a news release from the Cabell County Prosecutor, on Wednesday, September 7, Evans provided investigators with the names of seven people who could provide an alibi for him.
Then on Thursday (yesterday), Evans and his attorney sat down with investigators to again give his side of the story. According to the release, Evans admitted he failed to fully advise investigators of where he was and whom he was with during the time of the robberies.
According to the release, those seven individuals were able to provide an alibi for Evans, and the investigators and the prosecutors office have "decided that there is insufficient evidence to justify proceeding with the prosecution of Mr. Evans at this time."
The investigation into the robberies is still ongoing.
In the release it was stated that "the investigation in this case was competently and thoroughly conducted and an appropriate charging was made, based on the information available to law enforcement."
Shortly after the charges against Evans were dropped, Marshall University released the following statement:
“Coach (Doc) Holliday and I are extremely pleased for Troy that the charges have been dropped and he is innocent," said Marshall Director of Athletics, Mike Hamrick. "He has been reinstated to the program immediately.”
Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for updated information.
Evans showed up at the end of the Herd’s practice Tuesday afternoon to visit with teammates after posting bond.
His preliminary hearing on the charges is set for Friday morning in Cabell County Magistrate court.
Evans remains on indefinite suspension from the team.
Police say Evans, 21, of Oakland, Calif., robbed four people at gunpoint in the early morning hours of August 28 in the 1500 block of 6th Avenue.
Evans is charged with four counts of 1st degree robbery and one count of wanton endangerment.
Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for updated information.
Police arrested former starting wide receiver Troy Evans late Tuesday in connection with the robberies.
Early Sunday, about 3 a.m., four robberies were reported in the 1500 block of 6th Avenue in only eight minutes.
Initially, police say two Marshall students were robbed at gunpoint.
They got away while the third victim, Mike Fortier, was walking by, talking on his cell phone.
"A guy walked up to me with a gun and said, 'Give me your phone and wallet' because I was on the cell phone at the time," Fortier said. "Then he told me to walk away. So, I did. I didn't want to turn around because he was still behind me."
Fortier's loss may have been a gain for police.
"I guess he made a call from my phone that night shortly after that to one of his friends," Fortier said. "I gave that to detectives, and I guess they took care of it."
A fourth victim was robbed minutes later.
"Upon seeing the cruisers coming into the area, the suspect put his arm around him and tried to direct him into a hedge out of the view of everybody," Huntington Police Lt. John Williams said. "The victims resisted at the time and got struck. As the suspect fled and took a misstep, the gun went off. At that point, the victim fled."
Evans is in the Western Regional Jail. WSAZ requested an interview with Evans from jail. However, jail officials say he denied the request.
Huntington Police say it does not appear Evans knows any of the victims. Right now, they also have not identified a motive.
Police say the person responsible for the robberies only got away with about $30.
Marshall's Athletic Department issued a statement saying Evans, “has been indefinitely suspended for a violation of team rules."
Evans’ preliminary hearing is set for Sept. 9.
Huntington Police arrested Troy Evans, 21, a senior from Oakland, Calif. on Marshall's campus Tuesday night.
Evans is charged with four counts of 1st degree robbery and one wanton endangerment.
Police say all four robberies happened early Sunday morning in the 1500 block of 6th Avenue.
The criminal complaints filed in Cabell County Magistrate Court say that a handgun was used in each of the robberies.
Police say in one robbery the gun was charged. In another robbery the victim was hit in the head with gun, while another victim had the gun pointed at his chest with hammer on the gun cocked.
Each of the victims had their wallet taken, according to police.
Huntington Police Detectives tell WSAZ.com that victims were able to identify Evans as a suspect.
According to a news release, police searched Evans apartment near campus.
Evans' bond was set at $250,000. He is in the Western Regional Jail.
Marshall's Athletic Department issued the following statement, "Marshall wide receiver Troy Evans has been suspended indefinitely due to a violation of team rules. There will be no further comment at this time."
Evans' arrest comes right before Sunday's game against West Virginia University in Morgantown.
Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.
"It's pretty crazy you can't go a block from your house without getting robbed," senior Zack Warner said.
Warner says his fraternity brother was robbed when he was walking back to the Sig Ep house from the Speedway on 6th Avenue.
"The dude comes up out of nowhere,” Warner said. “It was one of the darker areas where there's not much light. The dude comes up, pulls out a handgun, puts the barrel to his head and says ‘Give me your phone and wallet.’"
Huntington police say three armed robberies took place in the span of eight minutes about 2:30 Sunday morning. They say at least two of the victims were Marshall students.
Each robbery took place in the 1500 block of 6th Avenue, and in each case, the suspect held out a gun and demanded the victim's wallet.
In the first of these three similar incidents, two victims were walking together. In the next two, the victims were walking by themselves.
Marshall students say this was a frightening reminder that if you’re going to be out walking late at night, it’s best to do so with a crowd.
Police say each victim gave a similar description of the suspect. They say he was a black male 25 to 30 years old, 5'9" to 6', about 150 pounds and was wearing a black t-shirt, black shorts and black shoes.
Police say during the last robbery, the suspect saw police cars toward him and took off running down the south side of 15th Street. They say they then searched the area for a long time but were unable to locate him.
If you have any information you think could be helpful you're asked to contact the Huntington Police Department.
Huntington Police tell WSAZ.com the robberies happened about 2:30 a.m. Sunday in the 1500 block of 6th Avenue.
They say a man approached two people, pulled a gun and demanded their wallets. One of the victims handed it over -- then ran away with the other victim and called 911.
Minutes later, another man was walking in the same area and talking on his cell phone.
The man approached him - pulled a gun, then demanded his wallet and cell phone. The victim gave both to him and then ran away.
A few minutes later, a fourth victim was approached in the same area. The suspect again pulled a gun and demanded the victim's wallet - but took off when he saw two police cars approaching.
After a long search of the area, the suspect was not found.
His description was the same in all three incidents.
Police say they are looking for a black male, 25 to 30 years old. He's about 5'9 - 6'0 and weighs about 150 pounds. He was last seen wearing a black t-shirt, black shorts and black shoes.
Anyone with information is asked to call Huntington Police.
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