Editor's note: Brent Vinson is charged with tampering with evidence and attempting to tamper with evidence. An earlier version of this story contained incorrect charges.
Former Tennessee football player Brent Vinson is in the Lauderdale County, Ala., jail awaiting extradition to Knoxville after being arrested Tuesday by U.S. marshals in connection with a May 2009 murder.
The warrants on Vinson, who is originally from Hampton, Va., are for tampering with evidence and attempting to tamper with evidence.
Charles Austin Corn, a 23-year-old Tennessee student, died May 24 in a hospital five days after being shot repeatedly during a robbery at his apartment on Spruce Ridge Way in South Knoxville. He never recovered enough to talk with police.
Vinson, then a defensive back at UT, was considered at the time to be a witness to the shooting.
Chuck Reynolds of the U.S. Marshals office in Huntsville told the newspaper that Vinson had reportedly moved to Florence in hopes of enrolling at the University of North Alabama and playing football there in the fall. The marshals said Vinson had arrived in the area after the semester began and was too late to enroll.
Evidence at the scene of the shooting led police to classify Corn as a high-level marijuana dealer who imported pot in bulk from the West Coast. The main witness to the shooting, 23-year-old fellow UT student Kinder Cole Tuckwiller, had reported being robbed of his stash the day before Corn was shot.
The robbery at Tuckwiller’s apartment in North Knoxville had led to the arrests of former UT basketball player Ramar Smith and Kaoun Kaihani, another UT student. Neither faced any charge in Corn’s robbery or death. The case involving Smith and Kaihani was sent to a grand jury in August 2009. Smith had been dismissed from the UT basketball team after the spring semester of 2008.
No one has been charged with the murder of Corn.
Vinson was dismissed from the football team prior to the Chick-fil-A Bowl in December after a discussion with then coach Lane Kiffin; although Vinson told The Sports Animal last month he disagreed with the circumstances around his no longer being on the team.
“I haven’t been in any trouble for me to be dismissed or all those media things that came out that said I was dismissed,” Vinson said on the radio show. “I just want to the truth to be said. That’s all I want is for what’s right to be done.”
Vinson was considered one of the best true athletes on the Tennessee team.
He had 11 tackles and one interception in nine games as a junior as his statistical impact continued to decline. In his freshman season, he recorded 31 tackles, an interception and broke up seven passes. In eight games as as sophomore, he made 13 tackles and had an interception.