U.S. gymnast Simone Biles on Monday issued her first statement about her brother’s arrest last week on murder charges in Cleveland, saying she was “still having a hard time processing” the news about Tevin Biles-Thomas and expressing sympathy for the victims in the case.
The Cleveland Division of Police and the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office announced Thursday that Biles-Thomas has been charged with murder, voluntary manslaughter, felonious assault and perjury in connection with a New Year’s Eve shooting that left three men dead at an Airbnb rental in Cleveland.
Biles-Thomas, 24, has been on active duty with the U.S. Army since 2014 and was assigned to the 3rd Infantry Division as a cannon crew member at the time of his arrest at Fort Stewart in Georgia. He is being held at Liberty County Jail in Hinesville, Ga. An arraignment hearing in Cleveland is scheduled for Sept. 13, according to court records.
WSAV-TV in Savannah, Ga., reported that on Aug. 14 the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office received a request from investigators in Cleveland for a sample of Biles-Thomas’s DNA. A cheek-swab test was conducted and the results were presented to a grand jury, which then returned an indictment.
Police and prosecutors in Ohio say a group of people showed up uninvited to a New Year’s Eve party at a Cleveland apartment above a pizzeria that was being rented as an Airbnb. After being asked to leave, a fight broke out and someone in the group started firing a gun at around 11:30 p.m. Barber Devaughn Gibson, 23, student DelVaunte Johnson, 19, and labourer Toshon Banks, 21, died of multiple gunshot wounds. Two other people were shot but survived.
According to online court records, Biles-Thomas has been charged with six counts of murder (three for directly causing another person’s death, three for causing someone’s death during the commission of a separate felony), three counts of voluntary manslaughter, five counts of felonious assault and one count of perjury, according to prosecutors. No one else has been charged in the case.
Because of their mother’s drug and alcohol addictions, Simone Biles and her three siblings lived in foster care until they were adopted by relatives. When she was 6, the future four-time Olympic gold medalist and her younger sister were adopted by their grandfather in Texas, while Biles-Thomas and another sister were adopted by a great-aunt in Cleveland.
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