Authorities say the case of the slaying of former defensive tackle Du’vonta Lampkin has finally been solved, and it is a case of the adage it is always those closest to you. Two suspects have been arrested for the robbery-murder, and one was his friend who had been with him earlier the day he was killed in downtown Dallas.
Back in May, the 25-year-old former University of Oklahoma standout and one-time Tennessee Titan was found murdered in a rented apartment he was residing in while his permanent apartment was being readied. Now authorities say they have put together the plot that led to his death.
The arrested suspects, 22-year-old Antwan Franklin and 24-year-old Erick Garcia, are now charged with murder in Lampkin’s death. The football player reportedly kept a lot of cash on him, and police say his “friend” Franklin contacted Garcia to set up a robbery of not only Lampkin, but also himself so he wouldn’t be implicated.
The OU Football family is deeply saddened by the tragic passing of former player Du'Vonta Lampkin. Du'Vonta was full of life and spirit, was a supportive teammate and a joy to be around. Our sincerest thoughts, prayers and sympathies are with his family and loved ones. pic.twitter.com/hV8zEFawmO
— Oklahoma Football (@OU_Football) May 6, 2022
An arrest warrant affidavit and court documents revealed that Franklin was with Lampkin early on May 5 when he sent a message to Garcia to set up the robbery.
“Suspect Franklin told Suspect Garcia that… he needed Suspect Garcia to ‘rob us’ because Complainant Lampkin has a lot of money on him and in his Air BNB room,” according to authorities.
Franklin asked Garcia to bring another person for the robbery, and on a surveillance video released by police, Lampkin and Franklin returned to the Air BnB. Franklin waved over to the would-be robbers while Lampkin wasn’t watching.
Lampkin and Franklin walked the hallway on the fifth floor of the complex. Garcia and the yet-to-be-identified third suspect hid in a stairway, and once Lampkin got to his Air BnB door, the men ran up behind Lampkin.
— 𝕆𝕂𝕃𝔸ℍ𝕆𝕄𝔸-𝕍𝕊-𝕋ℍ𝔼 𝕎𝕆ℝ𝕃𝔻 (@soonergridiron) December 3, 2017
In the video that has not been released, it only took minutes for Garcia to reportedly be seen running toward the stairway with Lampkin’s book bag, which was apparently “known to be full of money.”
Ironically, he would have moved into his new Dallas apartment the next day. According to reports, his friends were concerned when they couldn’t reach Lampkin by phone, and police revealed that his backpack, cellphone, and wallet were missing. Lampkin was found with a gunshot to his chest on the apartment floor.
Police are still looking for the third suspect, a man wearing a hoodie in the surveillance video.
“[He was] excited about Dallas. He wanted to get into real estate,” his cousin Kerry Lampkin said to local Dallas station FOX4. “He was excited about real estate, and I think would’ve successful because anything he puts his mind to, he will conquer it.”
A part of the Oklahoma Sooners for three seasons, from 2015 to 2017, Lampkin recorded 27 tackles in 15 games, with 6.5 tackles for loss and a sack during his collegiate career. He entered the NFL draft in 2018, trying out for the Baltimore Ravens before eventually signing with the Tennessee Titans as an undrafted free agent.
However, Lampkin didn’t play a regular-season NFL game and eventually joined the National Arena League in 2019, playing for the Massachusetts Pirates.