4th suspect charged in shooting death of Memphis football player - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

4th suspect charged in shooting death of Memphis football player

DaeShawn Tate DaeShawn Tate
Victor Trezevant Victor Trezevant
Courtney Washington Courtney Washington
Devin Jefferson Devin Jefferson

According to Memphis Police, a University of Memphis student has been charged with murder for providing information to the three men who fatally shot a school football player during a botched robbery.

Investigators said Devin Jefferson was arrested on first degree murder charges and criminal attempt to commit aggravated robbery.

Jefferson, who was an acquaintance of Taylor, was also a part-time university employee working as a referee in intramural sports.

University President Shirley Raines said the school would not release any further information about Jefferson.

"The criminal justice system must still weigh in on the final judgment on this matter, but these arrests do confirm the original belief that this was a targeted attack and not a random act of violence," Raines said. "It is troubling that it appears one of our students was involved."

Bruce Harber, director of police services for the university, said one of the 300 security cameras on campus helped lead to the arrests. He said it was unlikely that any other students would be arrested.

Jefferson joined DaeShawn Tate, 21; Victor Trezevant, 21; and Courtney Washington, 22, charged Monday in the murder.

Police Director Larry Godwin said Bradford, who reportedly won more than $3,000 at a casino near Memphis the night before his death, was sought out by his attackers.

"It was an attempted robbery," Godwin said. "He was targeted because there was some information that was out there and they believed he had some cash."

Director Godwin also said that the attackers intended to rob Bradford, but apparently did not get what they had come for. He declined to elaborate. "The investigation is ongoing, and we do expect additional arrests," Godwin said.

Sgt. Vince Higgins, a special assistant to Godwin, said talk had gotten around about Bradford's reported good luck at a Tunica, Miss., casino and he had several thousand dollars on him when he died.

"When that rumor mill started going obviously that generated some motive for some people," Higgins said. "Now whether it was their motive specifically or exclusively, I can't say. That would be compromising the investigation at this point."

Police did not say if Bradford was in his car when he was shot or if the 300-pound defensive lineman fought with his attackers. He was hit once by a shot fired from a handgun.

Godwin said an anonymous tip led police to the suspects.

The 21-year-old student was shot Sept. 30 shortly before police found him fatally wounded in his car which had crashed into a tree near his apartment on campus.

University officials said shortly after the shooting that they believed Bradford was targeted specifically in the attack.

New information surfaced on Thursday when investigators identified a vehicle of interest, a late 90's model gold or tan 4-door Mercury Marquis.

Bradford, a junior from Nashville,  transferred to Memphis from Samford University.

Bradford was laid to rest Saturday in Nashville.


U of M Football Coach Tommy West reacts to arrests.
Reported by Dave Cera.

Tommy West held his weekly coaches luncheon Monday afternoon and while talk centered on their upcoming game against MTSU, the under current was strong; the Tigers are still grieving.

West's team decided to play just two days after Taylor Bradford's brutal murder. Now, after a week without word of any suspects, Monday's arrests come as good news to the coach and the team.

"It's exciting to hear that they have some people. We've been crossing our fingers and saying our prayers that they'd find the people who did this," says West.

"Hopefully, it will bring closure and we can have confidence in what's going on," adds Defensive Lineman Clinton McDonald.

The Tigers earned an emotional win last Tuesday night against Marshall in memory of Bradford.

They'll host MTSU Saturday at the Liberty Bowl after having 11 days off.

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