UPDATE: Illini's Nunn arrested, suspended
URBANA — University of Illinois basketball player Kendrick Nunn has been charged with domestic battery for allegedly striking a woman in her apartment Wednesday evening.
Champaign police arrested the junior guard at 5:10 p.m. Thursday after a judge issued a warrant earlier in the day on the misdemeanor charges. Nunn turned himself in.
Later Thursday, UI athletic director Josh Whitman and men's basketball coach John Groce issued a joint statement, indicating Nunn "has been suspended indefinitely from all team-related activities pending legal proceedings and an investigation into allegations of domestic battery."
The two issued a similar statement after UI guard Jaylon Tate's arrest on Saturday morning. Tate, too, is suspended for alleged domestic violence.
"Once again," Thursday's statement read, "we encourage everyone to allow the legal process to work before passing judgment."
Jail records show Nunn posted bond ($500) and was released at 10:25 p.m. Thursday.
First Assistant State’s Attorney Steve Ziegler said Champaign police were called to the apartment of the alleged victim in the 500 block of South Second Street, Champaign, about 5:15 p.m. Wednesday.
“Neighbors call 911 to report a loud argument. They hear a woman yelling, ‘Get off of me’ and a man yelling, ‘Give me my money,’” Ziegler said.
Police talked to the 20-year-old woman at the door of her apartment. Nunn was in the living room but no one else was in the apartment, he said.
“Initially, they both indicate it is just a friendship and that nothing physical happened,” the prosecutor said.
Police officers talked to Nunn and asked him to leave. Ziegler said there was no arrest at the time because both Nunn and the woman said nothing happened.
Ziegler said some time later, the woman called the police and said that she and Nunn do indeed have a relationship and that something had happened. Officers returned to her apartment.
“She said they were arguing about their relationship and whether or not she owed him money and at some point he did push her and strike her in the back of the head. During the physical part of the altercation is when Champaign police showed up,” Ziegler said.
Ziegler said police reported seeing red marks on her neck and shoulder. They took photos.
The information was taken to the state’s attorney’s office Thursday and Judge John Kennedy issued a warrant for Nunn’s arrest with a $5,000 bond.
Ziegler said the charges allege he struck her about the head, pushed her to the floor and held her by the neck and that in doing so, the contact was of an “insulting or provoking” nature.
Nunn, 20, is expected to make his first court appearance Friday afternoon. He listed an address in the 0-100 block of East John Street in the same apartment where fellow teammate Tate, 21, lives.
Urbana attorney Evan Bruno confirmed that he was hired Thursday afternoon by Nunn’s father, Melvin Nunn, to represent his son. Bruno and his father, Tom Bruno, are also representing Tate on his misdemeanor domestic battery charges.
Nunn and Tate were teammates at Chicago Simeon for two seasons and won a pair of Class 4A state championships together in 2012 and 2013 while going a combined 39-4. Nunn was also on Simeon’s 2010 and 2011 4A title teams, and the Wolverines posted a 110-15 record in his high school career.
Nunn’s arrest is the fourth for the Illinois basketball program since August.
Darius Paul was arrested in August in France during the team’s foreign tour, Leron Black was arrested and charged with a felony for allegedly brandishing a knife outside an Urbana night club in February and Tate was arrested last week for misdemeanor domestic battery. The alleged victim in Tate’s case told his attorney he didn’t do it but the charges remain on file against him.
Nunn, a junior guard, averaged 15.5 points and 5.0 rebounds per game this season. He missed the first five games of the season recovering from a torn ligament in his left thumb during a mid-October practice. Nunn also missed the game at Michigan State to remain in Champaign for the birth of his son, Kason.
The woman who was allegedly battered by Nunn is not the mother of his newborn.