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Cleared Student Speaks About Arrest

Updated: Wednesday, April 10 2013, 05:54 PM EDT
Former Mars Hill College football player Justin James said for six months a heavy weight of criminal charges loomed over his life.  He was accused along with four classmates of the brutal dorm attack of a fellow student.  That weight recently lifted, though, when assault charges against James, Kevin Wright, and Shaheed Fitzgerald were dismissed.

"I'm just ready to get this past me, finalize everything, and get back on the field.  I'm just ready to move on with my life," said James.

But James told News 13's Mario Boone his life is still partially on hold because college leaders won't allow him to return to the football team.  "I'm just concerned at the way the whole thing was handled," said Jackie Moss, Justin's mother.  Moss said the freshman's grades also suffered.

"Initially the kids were out of school for two weeks and they received zeros for two weeks,"  said Moss.

But she saved her harshest criticism for Mars Hill police, whom she accused of botching the investigation and rushing to judgement.  "I went and did my own investigation, I talked to the kids on the hall.  Nobody could understand why those kids were arrested."

Yet Chief David Lewis isn't backing down saying, "yes, I stand by the investigation and arrests."

Back on campus reaction to the outcome was mixed. 

"I feel that the case should've been investigated more," said Annie Tesh.

"I don't really know what to say about that because I was pretty sure those might've been the guys that were guilty for it," student Alex Bradley said.

With the criminal case now over mom and son are shifting their focus to expunging James' record and getting him back in good standing at school.  "This is a Christian school.  If they're living by Christian principles you would think that someone would step up and do the right thing," said Moss.

By: Mario Boone, mlboone@wlos.com
Follow on Twitter: @mariobooneCleared Student Speaks About Arrest


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