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Official says student arrest in slaying a surprise

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VALLEY CITY, N.D. (AP) — A Valley City State University football player accused of killing a man and wounding another outside of a Minneapolis club over the weekend hadn't caused any trouble at the school since transferring to it in January, a school official said.

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Cedric Chappell Jr., 21, raised "no red flags" during his time at the school, Valley City State spokesman Greg Vanney told the Grand Forks Herald.

Chappell was arrested Tuesday at the university in Valley City. He is charged in Hennepin County, Minn., with second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder for fatally shooting a man and wounding another outside a Minneapolis bar over the weekend.

Willie Smith, 22, of St. Paul, was fatally shot outside the Blue Nile restaurant and bar about 2 a.m. Saturday. Another man was shot in the leg.

Vanney said Chappell caused no problems at Valley City State or when he previously attended the North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton. Chappell attended the college in Wahpeton for about two years before transferring to Valley City in January.

The presidents of both colleges conferred about the situation after Chappell's arrest, Vanney said. Coaches do their homework and talk to people when they check out potential student athletes, he said.

Vanney said he did not know whether anyone at Valley City State knew about Chappell's juvenile criminal history. Chappell was charged with felony motor vehicle theft in January 2010 and again with felony motor vehicle theft and receiving stolen property in March 2010.

Both cases were pleaded down to lesser charges. Court records show he pleaded guilty to two gross misdemeanors — motor vehicle theft and receiving stolen property — in March 2010 and was sentenced to a year of supervised probation.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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