Thu, Aug 06, 2009 - Page 20 News List

Man charged in murder of boxing champ Forrest

AP , ATLANTA

An unidentified man touches the body of former boxing champion Vernon Forrest at a funeral service at the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Georgia, on Monday.

PHOTO: AP

A 20-year-old Atlanta man was charged with murder on Tuesday in the shooting death of ex-苑oxing champion Vernon Forrest, although authorities said they did not believe he was the triggerman.

Demario Ware was also charged with aggravated assault and armed robbery, Atlanta police Lieutenant Keith Meadows said. The 38-year-old Forrest was shot to death on July 25 after he chased a man who robbed him of his championship ring and Rolex watch, police said.

Police said Ware was responsible for the robbery but that they were still looking for the shooter and at least two other suspects.

Ware was expected to have a bond hearing yesterday. Police said he had a lawyer but were unsure of a name.

Forrest was robbed at a gas station, pulled a gun from his waistband and began chasing the robber across a bridge, police have said.

Shortly after they reached the other side, Forrest lost sight of him but then encountered a second person with a gun and exchanged words with him, police said.

Forrest turned and walked away and was shot several times in the back, police said.

Forrest, a native of Augusta, Georgia, who lived in Atlanta, was a member of the 1992 Olympic team along with Oscar De La Hoya. The popular fighter later won welterweight and junior middleweight titles and compiled a professional record of 41-3 with 29 knockouts.

Some 1,500 friends, family and fellow athletes attended Forrest? funeral on Monday.

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