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Former Nebraska Back Arrested

July 25, 2002

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OMAHA, Neb. (AP) _ Former Nebraska football player Abdul Muhammad has been arrested on suspicion of trying to escape from jail by claiming he was someone else.

Muhammad, 29, who had been free on bail, was taken into custody because a pending charge _ possession of a deadly weapon by a felon _ was moved to federal court last week.

On Monday, Muhammad identified himself as someone else in police custody who was scheduled to go to court on less serious charges, according to a police report. Jail guards took him from his cell to a holding area, where they realized the deception.

Prosecutors had not yet decided whether to file additional charges.

Muhammad still is considered a suspect in the March 2001 slaying of Robert A. Paylor IV, a former gang member who later advocated gang truces. In the investigation into Paylor’s death, Muhammad was charged with possession of a deadly weapon by a felon.

Muhammad has declined to discuss the case.

His prior felony was a 1997 drug conviction after he signed for a package containing four one-pound bags of marijuana. He served one year of probation for that crime.

Muhammad played wingback for Nebraska from 1991 to 1994 and later served as an undergraduate assistant coach while finishing his degree.

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