KALAMAZOO, Mich. — A former Western Michigan University basketball player has been charged with open murder after the shooting death of a student last week.
Joeviair Kennedy was also charged with armed robbery and home invasion in relation to the incident that happened last Thursday in the Soho Apartments on Howard Street. Jacob Jones, 19, was found dead with a gunshot wound.
"I don’t know who did it," said Lucious Kennedy, Joeviair's uncle who drove in from Louisville for the arraignment. "But I know he didn’t do it."
Witnesses told police that two black men with bandanas and hoodies had been at the scene. Kennedy was arrested on Friday. He has also been suspended from school.
Family and friends are having a hard time believing that Kennedy was responsible for the shooting.
"I’m not a detective or nothing but I know deep in my heart, he did not do this," said friend and mentor Dee Harris. "I know this."
Kennedy played high school basketball for the Muskegon Big Reds. He picked WMU on Signing Day over Buffalo, Northern Illinois and IPFW. He was called "Hip-Hop" in high school and said in May of 2015 that he chose WMU because he wanted to stay in Michigan. He won one state title while with Muskegon.
Family and friends of Jake Jones have set up a GoFundMe page to help with funeral expenses. The page actually has already surpassed its $10,000 goal.
His preliminary hearing is scheduled for December 29.