Prep football star arraigned

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 30, 2004

CLEVELAND (AP) - Two high school seniors, including one recognized as the best prep football player in Ohio, were arraigned Thursday in the shooting death of a teammate.

The three Benedictine High School students apparently tried to use a toy gun to rob a man, but the intended victim pulled a real gun and began shooting, police said.

City prosecutors filed murder and aggravated robbery charges Wednesday against running back Raymond Williams and Jon Huddleston, a defensive back on the state-champion team. Both are 18.

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Municipal Court Judge Larry A. Jones set bond for Williams and Huddleston at $100,000 each. Neither entered a plea.

Williams was named the 17th annual winner of The Ohio Associated Press Mr. Football award in November. West Virginia University withdrew its offer for a football scholarship on Wednesday, said Shelly Poe, the school's sports information director.

''Raymond has never been in any trouble, never been in jail, so we want him out,'' said his attorney, William Dawson. ''We're all preparing for the battle that lies ahead. The family is strong and very supportive behind him.''

Lorenzo Hunter, 16, a sophomore wide receiver and safety for Benedictine, died of gunshot wounds to the chest, arm and hip on April 16. On April 21, police charged Rodney Roberts, 20, with aggravated murder.

A witness told police that Hunter was trying to rob Roberts with a plastic gun, and Roberts then pulled out a real gun and fired it. Lt. Linda Kaspar said the decision to charge Williams and Huddleston was made because they were ''at the scene and had some involvement in it.''

Pat D'Angelo, Huddleston's lawyer, said both youths spoke with Benedictine counselors, then agreed to give police oral and written statements without attorneys present.

''They made statements to investigators that expose themselves to liability,'' D'Angelo said Wednesday.

Williams was named first-team All-Ohio and the Division III offensive player of the year after rushing for 2,099 yards and 27 touchdowns in the 2003 regular season. Huddleston also earned first-team honors as a defensive back.