U.S. gymnast Simone Biles on Monday issued her first statement about her brother’s arrest last week in Cleveland, saying she was “still having a hard time processing” the murder charges against Tevin Biles-Thomas and expressing sympathy for the victims.
Biles-Thomas, 24, has been on active duty with the U.S. Army since 2014 and was assigned to the 3rd Infantry Division as a cannon crew member at the time of his arrest at Fort Stewart in Georgia. He is being held at Liberty County Jail in Hinesville, Ga. An arraignment hearing in Cleveland is scheduled for Sept. 13, according to court records.
According to WSAV-TV in Savannah, Ga., on Aug. 14 the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office received a request from investigators in Cleveland for a sample of Biles-Thomas’s DNA. A cheek-swab test was conducted and the results were presented to a grand jury, which then returned an indictment.
Police and prosecutors in Ohio say a group of people showed up uninvited to a New Year’s Eve party at a Cleveland apartment above a pizzeria that was being rented as an Airbnb. After being asked to leave, a fight broke out and someone in the group started firing a gun at around 11:30 p.m. Devaughn Gibson, a 23-year-old barber; DelVaunte Johnson, a 19-year-old student; and Toshon Banks, a 21-year-old laborer, died of multiple gunshot wounds. Two other people were shot but survived.
According to online court records, Biles-Thomas was charged with six counts of murder (three for directly causing another person’s death and three for causing someone’s death during the commission of a separate felony), three counts of voluntary manslaughter, five counts of felonious assault and one count of perjury. No one else has been charged.
Because of their mother’s drug and alcohol addictions, Biles and her three siblings lived in foster care until they were adopted by relatives. When she was 6, the future four-time Olympic gold medalist and her younger sister were adopted by their grandfather in Texas; Biles-Thomas and another sister were adopted by a great-aunt in Cleveland.
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