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Freaknik Visitor Slain During First Day of Black College Bash

April 20, 1996 GMT

ATLANTA (AP) _ A man in town for Freaknik, the yearly weekend street party that attracts hundreds of thousands of black college students, was shot to death early Friday in an apparent robbery attempt, police said.

Donnie Cantrell, 24, of Akron, Ohio, and two friends were sitting in a car talking to women just outside a public housing project when they were approached by several men, police said. One shot Cantrell in the shoulder.

Darrell Graybill, 27, of Atlanta was charged Friday with murder, Police Chief Beverly Harvard said.

Cantrell had graduated from Kent State University last year with a degree in criminal justice and had been looking for a job, his mother, Jean Cantrell, said from her home in Akron.

``He went down there with a couple of friends for Freaknik,″ she said. ``This was his first time and he was so excited to go. I wish he never went.″

Freaknik attracts 100,000 to 200,000 people each spring. Police had made 24 arrests as of Friday morning that they related to the event, with charges ranging from marijuana possession to simple battery.