Former athletes plead guilty: Ex-Citadel quarterback, 2 others admit robberies

Miguel Starks (left), Reggie Rice (middle), Stephen Francois (right)

Former Citadel quarterback Miguel Starks and two other co-defendants pleaded guilty Wednesday to all charges that were filed against them in connection with two 2010 home-invasion-style robberies.

Ninth Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson said Starks, 20, of Ashley Crossing Drive; former Citadel linebacker Reginald Rice, 23, also of Ashley Crossing Drive; and Stephen Francois, 20, of Fairburn, Ga., pleaded guilty to first-degree burglary, armed robbery, kidnapping and possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime in connection with a Feb. 24 home invasion and robbery of a former Citadel cadet at his home on James Island.

Starks also pleaded guilty to first-degree criminal sexual conduct in connection with that robbery, Wilson said.

Starks and Rice also entered guilty pleas to charges of armed robbery, first-degree burglary, kidnapping and possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime in the Feb. 27 home invasion of a Citadel assistant football coach at his West Ashley home.

Francois also pleaded guilty to armed robbery, kidnapping and first-degree burglary in connection with that home invasion.

The pleas were entered before Circuit Judge Markley Dennis in Charleston County General Sessions Court.

The robberies rocked The Citadel and the College of Charleston, as both victims had Citadel connections and all the defendants were college students. Starks and Rice were at The Citadel. Francois and two female co-defendants were at the College of Charleston.

In both robberies, masked intruders armed with handguns bound victims with duct tape and stole high-priced electronics. Also in both cases, a female was used to lure the victims.

In the Feb. 24 case, a woman knocked on the front door and asked to use a phone. In the Feb. 27 robbery, a woman called the victim to lure him out of his apartment.

Sentencing for all three men has been deferred, Wilson said.

Prosecutors often take this step to ensure the continued cooperation of defendants.

Two remaining co-defendants will have a trial Feb. 7, Wilson said.

Breanna Yastace Bruster, 19, of Greer, was charged with armed robbery and first-degree burglary in the Feb. 27 robbery.

Sasha Gaskins, 19, of Clinton, was charged as accessory in that home invasion.

Gaskins also faces first- degree burglary and armed robbery charges in the Feb. 24 robbery.