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Arrest in Slaying of Miami Player, Friend

May 2, 1996

MIAMI (AP) _ A phone tip led to the arrest of a 24-year-old man in the murders last month of Miami linebacker Marlin Barnes and friend Timwanika Lumpkins in a campus apartment.

The 22-year-old students were beaten to death with a shotgun by Labrant Deshawn Dennis, Lumpkins’ former boyfriend and the father of her 3-year-old daughter, police said Wednesday.

The murders were acts of domestic violence and were not related to campus security at the University of Miami, said state attorney Kathy Fernandez Rundle.

The shotgun was recovered from a culvert under Interstate 95 just north of Miami following the tip Monday to Crime Stoppers of Dade County, said Carlos Alvarez of Metro-Dade police.

``I am glad that there’s been an arrest,″ Barnes’ mother Charlie Postell said. ``But that doesn’t make it any better for me because my son ... I’ll never see him again.″

Barnes and Lumpkins were killed early April 13 in Barnes’ campus apartment. Barnes’ body was found by a roommate, and Lumpkins died after being rushed to a hospital.

Barnes, a reserve player, grew up in a Miami housing project. He got good grades at the university and trained hard. So hard, he was named ``Most Improved Player″ last season. He had been expected to compete for a starting job next season.

Dennis _ whom police once described as a cooperative witness with an alibi _ was arrested without incident at his Miami home Tuesday night after the shotgun was recovered, Alvarez said.

Dennis was being held without bail at Dade County jail, charged with two counts of first-degree murder, burglary and criminal mischief.

Lumpkins and Dennis’ stormy relationship was marked by physical abuse by Dennis, investigators said.

``Domestic violence in these kinds of cases occur wherever the victims live, and have very little _ or anything _ to do with university life,″ Rundle said.

``This was a case of domestic violence, not a random act, and we can take some comfort in that,″ university president Edward ``Tad″ Foote said. ``Our hearts go out to the families of these young people.″

The murders had raised tensions on the quiet campus in Coral Gables, just south of Miami.

``The campus remains a safe and secure place, we have a fine police force,″ Foote said. ``I’m so very pleased that this good news could be announced before exams and graduation.″

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