NEW ORLEANS - The attorney for a twice-arrested Tulane University football star proclaimed his client’s innocence Wednesday, saying the charges against his client are bogus. Richard Kohnke said it would be illogical for 22-year-old Trent Mackey to commit a burglary last month on the same block where he was suspected of participating in an armed home invasion weeks earlier.
Kohnke, in a lengthy statement released to the media, assailed the New Orleans Police Department and its investigation.
“Mr. Mackey’s arrest in the first incident was a travesty – the product of sloppy police work and an effort to protect the actual robbers. Trent’s arrest for the second incident was ‘orchestrated’ by certain NOPD detectives in a lame attempt to shore up their first arrest.”
NOPD spokeswoman Remi Braden said the victim in the burglary case identified Mackey in a photo line-up as the man who broke into his home and stole some items.
"This was probable cause for arrest, so Mr. Mackey was subsequently taken into custody," Braden said in a released statement.
Mackey, a star senior linebacker for the Green Wave, was arrested last month for allegedly helping coordinate an Uptown home invasion of a fellow student. Police said Mackey was actually with the victim at the time and played along as if he had also been victimized by the two assailants. Investigators allege Mackey had plotted the heist with two men who carried it out, Robert Murray, 19, and another unidentified suspect.
Mackey was re-arrested on Monday and booked with a separate crime, an early August burglary in the 600 block of Broadway Street.
Mackey appeared before a magistrate Tuesday morning and was ordered held in lieu of $10,000 bond. Mackey, a Tulane senior from Port Sulphur, was suspended indefinitely from the Tulane football team shortly after the initial arrest.
Kohnke said Wednesday that Mackey is nine classroom hours away from a sociology degree at Tulane and has been a role model on and off the field.