LAWRENCE — Chris Martin, a junior defensive end on the Kansas football team, was arrested Wednesday in connection with a May 13 armed robbery in southwest Lawrence.
Martin, 21, was charged with aggravated robbery, conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery and kidnapping, according to the Lawrence Police Department. Two other men, former KU lineman Jeremiah Edwards, 21, and Josh Edwards, 28, were also charged in the case.
KU coach Charlie Weis issued a news release Wednesday evening saying he was aware of the situation and charges.
Martin, a junior college transfer from City College of San Francisco, arrived in Lawrence this spring as a centerpiece in Weis’ second recruiting class at Kansas. A former five-star recruit, Martin originally committed to Cal before transferring to Florida. Two junior college stops later, he was hailed as an answer to KU’s nonexistent pass rush.
But now Martin’s KU career appears in jeopardy before it even began.
According to police, the robbery occurred at approximately 10:30 p.m. on May 13 in the 1900 block of Camelback Drive. The victim stated that several suspects stole cash and marijuana at gunpoint.
“We are aware of the situation and are in the process of gathering facts,” Weis said. “The behavior described in these charges is not acceptable at the University of Kansas. When we are confident that we have enough information, we will act appropriately.”
Earlier Wednesday, police investigators executed search warrants at locations in Lawrence, finding multiple suspects and evidence from the crime.
Martin and the two other men were arrested and transported to the Douglas County Jail. According to Lawrence Police Sgt. Trent McKinley, information from the case was forwarded to the Douglas County district attorney and the investigation is ongoing.
It’s not the first time Martin has faced legal trouble. The native of Oakland, Calif., was arrested and charged with misdemeanor marijuana possession in January 2011, according to the Palm Beach Post, during his one season at Florida. He never played for the Gators and left Florida after the school year. But after stints at Navarro College (Texas) and City College of San Francisco, he reconnected with Weis, who had recruited him to Notre Dame while he was in high school.
Martin drew praise during spring ball for his athleticism and was expected to start and provide a needed boost to the Jayhawks’ defensive line.