Campus police follow leads in ongoing cases

One suspect is still being held in custody, while police work to identify two others in crimes committed near campus this semester.

Mark Anthony Beecham, a suspect in the sexual assault case of a female FAMU student, is still being held behind bars at the Tallahassee Police Department.

Sherri Luke, the University crime prevention officer, said, “A date has not been set for (Beecham) to go to trial.”

Beecham, who was arrested in relation to a 2 a.m. assault that occurred near Palmetto North on Jan. 14 has been awaiting trail for nearly three months.

During that time, the department has worked to receive forensic and physical evidence in the case, Luke said.

“I’ve gotten back the majority of the evidence information and we are now in the investigation stage,” she said.

According to Luke, sexual assault cases are not easily handled.”Because of the nature of the crime, it takes longer to deal with these types of cases,” she said.

The suspect, who is not a FAMU student, is wanted for charges of kidnapping, sexual assault, rape and vehicle theft in Houston County, Ala.

On Jan. 24, Beecham was issued a warrant by FAMU PD for the rape of the unnamed female victim and will remain behind bars pending a trial to be set by the Florida State Attorney’s Office.In an unrelated hit-and-run accident that took place April 8, no suspect has been identified despite several eyewitnesses on the scene.

Officer Sherri Luke said, “Although in the hit-and-run case a suspect is not in custody, the good thing is that as soon as we get a suspect, we will inform the public.”

The crash that occurred just after 11 p.m. left one student slightly bruised and another with damage to her vehicle.Chris Glenn, a student from Atlanta who was struck by the fleeing driver, said Tuesday, “My leg bothered me for a couple days after the accident.”

Glenn was treated at the scene and walked away with minor leg injuries.

“I’m still trying to figure out who it was that hit me,” he said.

“Other than that, I’m gonna let it ride.”

As for Lakerria Royal, the 19-year-old student whose car was struck, Glenn said he spoke to her earlier this week and she told him she is doing well and is currently getting her car repaired.

In another unrelated case of a party that ended in a shooting April 14 at the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity House on Wailes Street, Officer Luke said, “The investigation is still being conducted by the Tallahassee Police Department.”

She said TPD has a mutual aid agreement with FAMU, Florida State University and Tallahassee Community College to report student-related crimes with the proper University officials.

She said although the shooting occurred off campus, it was a party held by a FAMU-related fraternity, so the University and TPD officers will stay in constant contact in the case.

“We don’t want to speculate that the shooter was a Kappa, however because the crime happened at the frat house, we must stay involved,” Luke said.

Current procedure for collecting student-related crime reports or victim reports from TPD requires Luke to visit the city police station to collect records regularly.

“Every two weeks I go and pull arrest records from TPD concerning students arrested, campus suspects and victims,” Luke said.

Similar to the hit-and-run accident, Luke said when more information is gathered in the shooting case, it will be disclosed to the public.