Star gymnast Sinclair arrested, accused of storing stolen goods

Published: Tuesday, October 13, 2009 at 11:47 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, October 13, 2009 at 11:47 p.m.

A star University of Florida gymnast was arrested Tuesday afternoon for her apparent role in storing stolen items that police say were taken in a series of burglaries.


Melanie Sinclair

According to Gainesville police, Melanie Sinclair's apartment at Brandywine Apartments, 2811 S.W. Archer Road, was apparently used to store a safe, nine shotguns or rifles and two computers, all of which police say were recovered from the apartment and identified as stolen.

Bud Leonard Williams, 21, who police say is Sinclair's boyfriend, had been arrested on Oct. 1 after reportedly walking through the apartment complex carrying a loaded 12-gauge shotgun.

Leonard was charged with 11 counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, burglary, theft and theft of a firearm when he was arrested.

Map of the Brandywine Apartments complex

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According to an arrest report at the time, the Tactical Impact Unit got information about illegal retail gun dealing at the complex and on Oct. 1 staked out the area outside Sinclair's apartment. Williams was arrested at that point.

Tuesday's arrest of Sinclair occurred after Williams claimed that Sinclair knew the items she was storing in her apartment were stolen. Williams said at one point he even offered Sinclair a pearl necklace he had obtained after cutting open the 2-1/2-foot-tall stolen safe.

Williams also told police that Sinclair knew the long guns were in the apartment and was even "playing" with the guns at one point.

In addition, taped jail phone conversations of Williams had Williams telling Sinclair to tell police that she had only found out about the guns on the night he was arrested, according to an arrest report.

Sinclair, a redshirt senior standout for the Gator gymnastics team, is a nine-time All-American and was named to the All-SEC team the past three seasons. She has scored a school-record 10.0 on the uneven parallel bars three times in her UF career.

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