2nd man charged in robbery, shooting death of ex-boxing champion Vernon Forrest in Atlanta

2nd man charged in killing of ex-boxing champ

ATLANTA — A man believed to be the getaway driver in the robbery and shooting death of former boxing champion Vernon Forrest has been arrested, Atlanta police said Wednesday.

Jquante Crews, 25, of Dallas, Ga., faces several charges including murder, possession of a firearm during a commission of a felony and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Police said they picked Crews up at his brother’s house in College Park, Ga., and that he was the driver of the red Pontiac seen on a surveillance video of the July 25 crime. The arrest came hours after another suspect was denied bond.

As his grandmother sat nearby weeping, 20-year-old Demario Ware had his first court appearance on charges of murder, aggravated assault, armed robbery and possession of a weapon by a convicted felon. Ware turned himself in to authorities Tuesday night and appeared at a jailhouse hearing in front of Fulton County Magistrate Sylvia McCoy, who read him the charges.

Wearing a navy blue jail jumpsuit and handcuffs, Ware said nothing other than “yes, ma’am” and kept his eyes on the floor. He is being held without bond.

Ware’s grandmother, Rose Thomas, sat in the courtroom crying.

“He wasn’t raised up to do the thing he done,” she said after the hearing. “I’m sorry to the gentleman that got killed and his family. I know if I’m hurting like I am, then I know they’re hurting.”

Police say Forrest, 38, was shot to death after he chased a man who robbed him of his championship ring and Rolex watch. Police do not believe Ware is the person who shot Forrest and police are looking for one more suspect.

Ware’s attorney, Curtis Hubbard, said his client is “not guilty until proven guilty.” He declined further comment after the hearing.

Ware is scheduled for another court appearance Aug. 19.

Authorities say Ware has been in and out of jail on various charges. He was out on bond from a March arrest for obstructing an officer, criminal trespass and other charges when Forrest was shot.

Forrest’s manager, Charles Watson, called Ware’s arrest good news.

He added, “It’s one step in moving in the right direction to have closure on this, but we want the shooter to turn himself in.”

Forrest, a native of Augusta, Ga., who lived in Atlanta, was a member of the 1992 Olympic team along with Oscar De La Hoya. The fighter later won welterweight and junior middleweight titles and compiled a professional record of 41-3 with 29 knockouts.

Associated Press writer Jonathan Landrum Jr. in Atlanta contributed to this report.


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