Four Mississippi State students, including one from Columbus and another from Starkville, face felony burglary charges related to a break-in at the University of Alabama Athletics Complex in Tuscaloosa last week, according to documents filed in district court in Tuscaloosa County.
The documents say the students charged are Samuel Tanner Fittes, 21, of Columbus; Joshua Jordan, 21, of Starkville; John Thomas Badley, 20, of Laurel; and Joel Harper Hudnall, 20, of Madison. Hudnall is the son of former Columbus city engineer Joey Hudnall.
Surveillance footage allegedly shows the four students breaking into the Mal Moore Athletic Facility at 2:17 a.m. on April 4. They allegedly took “items of memorabilia,” court documents say.
The Mal Moore Athletic Facility houses training rooms, coaches’ offices and the Hall of Champions, which holds the football program’s trophy cases and other awards.
Warrants for the suspects were issued Friday and each were arrested and charged with third-degree felony burglary on Monday. Third-degree burglary is a Class C felony in Alabama and is punishable by a prison sentence of one to 10 years.
All four suspects were released after posting a $7,500 bond Monday.
MSU Chief Communications Officer Sid Salter said in a statement that the university is cooperating with the investigation.
“Mississippi State University does not condone this type of behavior and we are cooperating with authorities in their investigation,” Salter said. “The future status of the students will be determined after they have received their rights to the due process of law. Clearly, these students will have to face the consequences of their actions, whatever those actions might be.”
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