Arrest In Newsome Killing, Ricard Funeral Set

The Huntington Police Department made an arrest Sunday afternoon in the shooting death of Donte Newsome, after the suspect's release from St. Mary's Medical Center on Sunday. The investigation continues as Marshall fans are still dealing with the loss of Newsome, as well as the loss of team physician Dr. Jose Ricard who died at his home Saturday morning, just a few hours after Newsome was killed.

Marshall University's Athletic Department sent out a release late Sunday night, July 6, with details on Ricard's funeral as requested by his family. The funeral for Dr. Jose I. Ricard will be on Wednesday, July 9, at 2 p.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 526 13th Street, in Huntington, with a viewing to begin at 12 p.m. Beard Mortuary of Huntington will be in charge of arrangements for the funeral of the beloved team doctor for Marshall athletes since 1981. Ricard was 81-years old, and is survived by his wife, Amy, and two daughters, Raquel (Rocky) and Jacqueline.

Ricard (who escaped from Cuba in 1963, after fighting from 1956-59 against the Communists who captured the government) was the Team Physician-Emeritus with the MU Sports Medicine program, and was instrumental in the program becoming respected nationwide for producing top-notch athletic trainers. He came to West Virginia in 1963 as a family practice doctor, after stops in New York City and Atlanta, and remained in family medicine until very recently at the Marshall University School of Medicine's Family Practice program. He joined MU program in 1981 as team doctor, and is a member of both the Marshall Athletic Hall of Fame and the MU Sports Medicine Hall of Fame.

In the Newsome killing, Huntington Police Department Chief Skip Holbrook announced on Sunday that Jerel Garner, 28, from Kanawha County, W.Va., is charged with first degree murder. Garner was released from St. Mary's Medical Center after being admitted following the shooting on Third Avenue in Huntington at the club named Fluid. As he was released from St. Mary's, Garner was immediately taken into custody by Huntington police. He was arraigned on the charges and is now in the Western Regional Jail, near Barboursville, and is being held without bond. Police said Garner received minor injuries during Saturday's dispute that escalated into a shooting death, although Monday's edition of Huntington's newspaper, The Herald-Dispatch, is reporting Garner was shot multiple times.

Newsome, 25-years old and a former Marshall University and Huntington Heroes linebacker and running back, died from gun shot wounds that Huntington police said happened during a fight at Fluid. The dispute started in the bar and ended up in the street around 3:00 a.m. Saturday. Newsome and his former Marshall teammate, Curtis Keyes, were both shot in the 600 block of Fourth Avenue in front of Fluid in downtown Huntington. Keyes was treated and released from the hospital on Saturday, reportedly suffering a gunshot wound to his foot. Chief Holbrook said the investigation continues and they are still searching for another suspect. Holbrook said they have another person of interest, but they are not releasing that person's name at this time, although the Huntington Police Chief did verify they are looking for a man.

Newsome played linebacker and running back for Marshall from 2002-2005. In three seasons (freshman, sophomore and senior) on defense, he had 51 tackles with a career-best 24 as a senior in 2005. In 2004, Newsome played running back and rushed for 110 yards and two touchdowns that season, including a 52-yard scoring run against Miami (Oh.), on his second-ever carry at back, and scored another touchdown later that season against Buffalo, another Mid-American Conference opponent of Marshall under former Head Coach Bob Pruett in 2004. Newsome moved back to linebacker in 2005 as Marshall moved into Conference USA under current MU football Head Coach Mark Snyder.


Donte Newsome scores against the Carolina Speed in the 2007 season for the Huntington Heroes. Newsome, who played linebacker and running back at Marshall, was an AIFA All-Star in the 2007 season and was playing for the AF2's Amarillo Dusters in 2008 before his death Saturday in Huntington, W.Va. photo courtesy of Huntington Heroes Professional Football (huntingtonheroes.com).

Newsome went on to play 2006-07 with the Huntington Heroes indoor football team, playing mainly at running back. He helped the team to back-to-back 10-win seasons and two trips to the playoffs for the inaugural season and second year of the franchise. Newsome was named a American Indoor Football Association (AIFA) All-Star for his 2007 season. This season, he had been playing in the AF2 league (Arena Football League). He had scored 11 touchdowns in eight games for the Amarillo (Tex.) Dusters, including five scores against Bossier-Shreveport that led to Newsome being named AF2's Schutt Offensive Player of the Week.

Newsome, who grew up in Chesapeake, Va., and played scholastically at Deep Creek H.S. and Green Run H.S., is survived by his father Bruce Smith; his mother, Angela Smith; three brothers, Antonio Lomba, Breck Smith and Bruce Smith, Jr.; and one sister, Tennisha Smith. Funeral arrangements are incomplete at this time, but a memorial was held in front of Fluid on Sunday night by friends and family of Newsome.


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