Tevin Biles-Thomas, the brother of gold-medal gymnast Simone Biles charged with multiple counts of murder in a fatal shooting that left three men dead at a New Year’s Eve party, pleaded not guilty Friday at his arraignment in Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas in Cleveland.
Biles-Thomas, 24, now at the Cuyahoga County Jail, appeared by video at the arraignment. A judge ordered Biles-Thomas held on $1 million bond and that he have no contact with the surviving victims.
The active-duty Army specialist stationed in Fort Stewart, Georgia, is charged with murder, voluntary manslaughter, felonious assault and perjury, according to a statement from Cleveland police.
The shooting took place at an Airbnb rental when an “uninvited group” entered the home and “an altercation ensued” between the group and guests, Cleveland police allege.
Delvante Johnson, 19, Toshaun Banks, 21, and DeVaughn Gibson, 23, were killed.
Hours after the Aug. 29 arrest, Biles wrote on Twitter: “eating my feelings don’t talk to me.”
Four days later, Biles shared on Twitter:
still having a hard time processing last weeks news pic.twitter.com/GU0nQt2PZY— Simone Biles (@Simone_Biles) September 3, 2019
Biles, 22, and her brother grew up in separate homes due to drug addiction issues involving their parents. While Biles was raised by her grandparents near Houston with a sister, Biles-Thomas was raised by a great aunt with another sister in Cleveland.
In the past, Biles has publicly expressed fond feelings for her brother, writing on social media how she missed him and wished him luck when he entered the Army in 2014. And in 2017, she posted a smiling photo of the two of them together, noting they looked like twins.
After winning her fourth gold medal at the 2016 summer Olympics, Biles shared with People what the support of her family, including her four siblings, meant to her: “My family has always been with me every step of the way. I can count on them to always have my back.”
The mother of victim DelVaunte Johnson, Brandie Johnson, told Cleveland.com after the hearing: “I don’t agree with a million dollars bond, not for the murder of three people.”
Johnson, wearing a black T-shirt with with a photo of her son and the words “my baby’s keeper,” said her son and another victim, Banks, were at the New Year’s Eve party when Biles-Thomas and Gibson (the third victim) were part of a group that showed up to the party. She added that she’s a cousin of Biles’ biological father, and that her son and Banks each had daughters born in July.
“We’re just trying to find out how to get through this for these babies,” Johnson told Cleveland.com through tears.
Biles-Thomas is scheduled for a pretrial hearing on Sept. 18 at 9 a.m.