Storrs, Conn. Police charged a 21-year-old man with murder Tuesday in the stabbing death of a University of Connecticut football player outside a school-sanctioned dance, where the suspect’s lawyer says he was just trying to break up a fight.
John William Lomax III is scheduled to appear in court today on charges of murder and conspiracy to commit assault in the Oct. 18 death of Jasper Howard, police said. His bond was set at $2 million.
Police also arrested two other people in connection with the fight that led to Howard’s death. Hakim Muhammad, 20, was charged with conspiracy to commit assault, and Jamal Todd, 21, faces a felony charge of falsely reporting an incident and a misdemeanor charge of reckless endangerment for pulling a fire alarm that emptied the dance early that Sunday morning.
None of those arrested is a UConn student. Lomax and Muhammad live in Bloomfield, about 30 miles from campus. Todd lives in Hartford.
Police have said that Howard was stabbed once in the abdomen during an altercation that erupted after the dance was evacuated. Several other football players were with him, but none has been charged, and coach Randy Edsall said he hasn’t heard that any football player was involved in anything other than “verbal jostling.”
Lomax wasn’t present when the argument started and doesn’t know what it was about, but tried to break up the fight and didn’t stab anyone, said his attorney, Deron Freeman.
Sale of Cubs complete
Chicago — The sale of the Chicago Cubs, Wrigley Field and other assets from the Tribune Co. to the Ricketts family is complete. The Ricketts family said Tuesday that it has taken a 95 percent controlling interest in the baseball franchise, its storied ballpark and 25 percent of Comcast Sportsnet.
McCourt files for divorce
Los Angeles — Jamie McCourt is filing for divorce from Dodgers owner Frank McCourt in Los Angeles. A filing obtained by The Associated Press on Tuesday cites irreconcilable differences.
Astros tap Mills manager
Houston — Brad Mills finally is getting his chance to run a big-league team.
The 52-year-old Mills was hired by Houston on Tuesday after six seasons as Terry Francona’s bench coach in Boston. He’ll manage in the majors for the first time, though he’s managed a total of 11 seasons in the minors, with affiliates for the Chicago Cubs (1987-92), Colorado Rockies (1993-96) and Los Angeles Dodgers (2002).
General manager Ed Wade said Mills agreed to a two-year contract, with a team option for the third. The Astros made an offer to former Nationals manager Manny Acta over the weekend, but Acta took the Cleveland Indians’ job instead.
Knight refuses offer
Bloomington, Ind. — Bob Knight’s attorney has notified Indiana University that the former coach will not accept the school’s $75,000 offer to settle a lawsuit.
School spokesman Larry MacIntyre confirmed Tuesday the check was sent to Knight’s attorney last week, and the school has received notification the money, donated by alums, will be returned.
Knight sued Indiana, claiming the school did not properly defend him when against a suit from Ron Felling, a former assistant coach. Knight settled that case in 2002 by paying Felling $25,000 and admitting that in 1999 he shoved Felling in anger after overhearing him criticize Knight’s coaching and behavior.
UK defends Wall probe
Lexington, Ky. — University of Kentucky president Lee Todd says he has no problem with the way the school has handled the investigation into freshman point guard John Wall’s eligibility. Todd said Tuesday the school was simply trying to protect Wall and did not apologize for being more forthright about Wall’s status. ESPN.com reported last week the NCAA was looking into whether Wall’s relationship with his AAU coach — who worked briefly as a licensed sports agent during Wall’s high school career — violated NCAA amateurism rules.
N. Iowa picked in Valley
St. Louis — Returning all five starters and nine of 10 players, Northern Iowa is the overwhelming choice to win the Missouri Valley Conference men’s basketball title in 2009-10. The league announced the results of its coaches, media and sports information directors poll Tuesday.
Florida guard eligible
Gainesville, Fla. — Israeli guard Nimrod Tishman is eligible to play for Florida. Coach Billy Donovan says the NCAA cleared Tishman, a 6-foot-5 freshman from Tel Aviv, Israel, this week. He already had been cleared to practice.
Celtics’ Davis has surgery
Boston — Celtics forward Glen “Big Baby” Davis had surgery on his broken right thumb in Boston on Tuesday while his teammates were in Cleveland preparing for the season opener against the Cavaliers.
Davis is expected to miss six weeks while recovering from the injury. Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck said the team is considering suspending Davis for taking part in activities that were prohibited by his contract.
Agassi admits drug use
New York — Andre Agassi’s upcoming autobiography contains an admission that he used crystal meth in 1997 and lied to tennis authorities when he failed a drug test — a result that was thrown out after he said he “unwittingly” took the substance.
According to an excerpt of the autobiography posted on The Times of London Web site Tuesday, Agassi writes that he sent a letter to the ATP tour to explain the positive test, saying he accidentally drank from a soda spiked with meth by his assistant.
Agassi writes: “The ATP reviewed the case — and threw it out.”
Venus stumbles at WTA
Doha, Qatar — Defending champion Venus Williams lost to Elena Dementieva, 3-6, 7-6 (6), 6-2, on Tuesday in the first round of the WTA Sony Ericsson Championships. In the opening match, Victoria Azarenka made a successful tournament debut by defeating Jelena Jankovic, 6-2, 6-3.