3 UI football players facing robbery, home invasion charges

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From left to right: Darta Lee, Zarrian Holcombe and Howard Watkins (Provided Photo/Champaign County Sheriff's Office) From left to right: Darta Lee, Zarrian Holcombe and Howard Watkins (Provided Photo/Champaign County Sheriff's Office)

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WAND) - Three University of Illinois football players are facing home invasion and armed robbery charges.

According to court records, Darta Lee, 18, is in custody on preliminary charges of home invasion and armed robbery.  Lee is scheduled to be arraigned on those charges in Champaign County court on May 11.  Court records also show Zarrian Holcombe, 19, and Howard, aka Hojo, Watkins are also facing preliminary charges of home invasion and armed robbery.

The News Gazette reports, the three men tried to rob a man of cash in a residence hall early Wednesday. Police say the plan went awry when the victim recognized one of the suspect's voice. 

Officers were called to Bromley Hall around 3:30 a.m. The victim gave police enough information to make the arrest of Lee. After speaking with Watkins and Holcombe they were also booked in the Champaign County Jail. 

Lee is an offensive lineman, and Holcombe plays as a tight end and Watkins is an offensive linemen  for the U of I football team.  All three men started with the team in the 2016-2017 season.

An arraignment is set for all three men on Thursday. 

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