Three more charged in mall robbery
Armed robbery-related arrests Tuesday evening depleted the potential roster for the Walters State Community College basketball team by three more freshmen, according to authorities.
Antonio Desmond Sparkman, 18, was charged with aggravated robbery in connection with alleged gun-assisted theft of a cell phone from a Maryville man Monday evening.
Daniel James Hill, 19, and Dewuan Terrell Swafford, 18, were taken into custody by Detective Travis Stansell with the Morristown Police Department and charged with a lesser offense, criminal responsibility for facilitation of aggravated robbery.
Stansell charged Jemicah Rayshaun Bowman, a 19-year-old guard from Chattanooga, with aggravated robbery on Monday.
Sparkman, who is from Columbia, Tenn., is the only player who had made the team, J.B. Pectol, WSCC vice president for communications and marketing, said this morning.
Bowman, Swafford, who is from Harrison, and Hill, who is from Jackson, were trying out for the team, according to Pectol.
“We’re still looking into it,” Pectol said. “We will decide the appropriate action to be taken as soon as we have a full understanding of the details and what occurred.”
Bowman and Sparkman allegedly were active participants in the theft of an iPhone, which is valued at $500, according to Stansell. Police later recovered a realistic-looking Airsoft gun in Bowman’s Dodge Stratus, according to the detective.
Stansell alleges Hill and Swafford were passengers in the vehicle at the time of the armed robbery. The pair were left alone in the vehicle and had the opportunity to distance themselves from the robbery or call police, and they did neither, the arrest warrant states.
The Maryville man, who was accompanied by his wife and two sons, ages 2 and 5, were lured to the rear parking lot of College Square Mall Monday evening by the prospect of purchasing an iPhone that was advertised on Craigslist, authorities say.
The alleged victim followed Bowman’s vehicle through the WSCC campus and into the Oak Hills subdivision. He broke off the chase when one of the occupants of the vehicle pointed the Airsoft gun at him.
Bowman was taken into custody at Collegewood Apartments where several WSCC basketball players live.
All four basketball players remained in the Hamblen County Jail this morning.
Bowman and Sparkman were being held in lieu of $200,000 bond. Bond for Hill and Swafford was set at $150,000.
-By Robert Moore, Tribune Staff Writer