Two male Lane College students will be arraigned Wednesday morning after being arrested in connection with an early Tuesday morning robbery of another Lane student inside a Lane dormitory. The victim and the suspects lived in the same dorm.
According to a news release from the Jackson Police Department, 19-year-old Phillip Odell Dowlen and 20-year-old Terrance Deshun Becton, are facing multiple charges stemming from the incident.
The release said investigators anticipate charging Dowlen with aggravated robbery (a Class B felony) and possession of a weapon on school property. Becton is expected to be charged with tampering with evidence (a Class C felony), simple possession of marijuana and possession of a weapon on school property.
Dowlen and Becton are being held in the Madison County Jail. They are scheduled to be arraigned via video link at 8 a.m. Wednesday in Jackson City Court.
The armed robbery occurred during a week of exams for students, who are still mourning the death of the college’s ninth president, Dr. Wesley Cornelious McClure. He died last week at the age of 71.
Police said around 1:10 a.m. Tuesday, officers were called to Edens Hall on Laconte Street in regard to an armed robbery. Officers were told by a male student that he was approached by another student, identified as Dowlen, in Edens Hall . Both students reside in the dorm.
The victim told officers that Dowlen asked to buy a jacket that the victim was wearing. Dowlen told the victim that he would pay him later, but the victim said he would need the money now. Dowlen then displayed a handgun and demanded the victim’s jacket and the victim complied with Dowlen's demand.
Police said the victim pointed out Dowlen while officers were on the scene. Dowlen was taken into custody and officers recovered the victim's jacket from Dowlen's dorm room.
While still on scene, officers were alerted to another student walking away with a book bag. Police were given information that the student had been with Dowlen earlier.
Officers approached the student, idenitifed as Becton, on the parking lot of Edens Hall. Becton, who was also a resident of Edens Hall, gave officers permission to search and they found a handgun and marijuana inside the book bag.
The release said further investigation determined that the handgun was used by Dowlen during the robbery. Officers also learned that the gun was put into the book bag after police were called and that Becton was attempting to remove the gun from the crime scene.