Tevin Biles-Thomas, Brother of U.S. Gymnast, Is Charged in a Triple Murder

 nytimes.com  08/30/2019 16:15:03   Jacey Fortin

Mr. Biles-Thomas, 24, a brother of the champion gymnast Simone Biles, is accused of fatally shooting three people at a New Years Eve party.

Tevin Biles-Thomas, whose sister is the champion gymnast Simone Biles, was arrested on Thursday and charged with the murder of three people who were shot and killed at a party in Cleveland last New Years Eve.

Mr. Biles-Thomas, 24, is an active duty member of the United States Army who was stationed at Fort Stewart in Georgia at the time of his arrest, an Army spokesman confirmed. He was charged with homicide, voluntary manslaughter, felonious assault and perjury.

The shooting happened at a house party on Dec. 31, according to a joint statement from the Cleveland Division of Police and the Cuyahoga County prosecutors office.

Around 11:30 p.m., an uninvited group walked into the house and an altercation ensued between the uninvited guests and those who were invited, the statement said. The altercation led to gunfire and multiple victims were shot, three of which were fatal. Several party attendees fled the scene.

ImageMr. Biles-Thomas, 24, was charged with homicide, voluntary manslaughter, felonious assault and perjury.
Mr. Biles-Thomas, 24, was charged with homicide, voluntary manslaughter, felonious assault and perjury.CreditLiberty County Sheriff's Office

DelVaunte Johnson, 19; Toshaun Banks, 21; and DeVaughn Gibson, 23, were killed in the shooting. Two others were injured.

The relentless persistence of Cleveland police homicide detectives helped secure an indictment in this case, said Michael C. OMalley, the prosecutor for Cuyahoga County. It is through their hard work that we can begin to seek justice for these victims.

Mr. Biles-Thomas is being held at the Liberty County Jail in Georgia and is scheduled to be arraigned on Sept. 13. It is unclear whether he has a lawyer, and family members could not immediately be reached on Friday.

Mr. Biles-Thomas is one of Ms. Biless three biological siblings, but they were not raised in the same household. She and her younger sister, Adria, were adopted by their grandparents, Nellie and Ron Biles, at a young age and raised in the Houston area. Ms. Biles has said she considers Ron and Nellie to be her mother and father.

My birth mother suffered from drug addiction, and when I was just 3 years old, my siblings and I were removed from her custody, Ms. Biles wrote in an essay for CNN last year. From there, we bounced around until I was 6 and my grandparents made the brave move to adopt us. Although I was young when my foster care ordeal began, I remember how it felt to be passed off and overlooked.

The nature of Mr. Biles-Thomass relationship with his sister Simone is unclear, but she has shared photographs of the two of them on social media.

Ms. Biles is an Olympic gold medalist and the most decorated American gymnast ever. Her prodigious talent has been a bright spot for U.S.A. Gymnastics, an organization that is otherwise in turmoil.

In the United States Gymnastics Championships this month, Ms. Biles cemented her status atop the sport. Her winning performance included two skills never before executed in a womens gymnastics competition: a triple double (two flips with three twists) in floor exercise and a double-double dismount (two flips with two twists) off the balance beam.

In a tweet on Thursday evening, Ms. Biles said, Eating my feelings dont talk to me. Representatives of Ms. Biles did not respond to a request for comment on Friday morning.

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