Prosecutor: Witness in Detroit road rage shot and killed - New York News

Prosecutor: Witness in Detroit road rage case shot and killed

Posted: Updated:
YPSILANTI TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WJBK) -

There has been a deadly twist nearly a month after a road rage shooting in Detroit.  One of the shooting victims was supposed to testify in court, but the man was murdered Tuesday night.

"Unfortunately, the people have to report to this court that one of victims in this case, Mr. Brandon Charles, was shot and killed last night," a prosecutor told the judge Wednesday morning.

28-year-old Brandon Charles of Ypsilanti Township was scheduled to testify against two men.  Instead, Charles was murdered around 9:50 p.m. Tuesday at a friend's home in Ypsilanti Township.  He was shot in the torso in his car in the driveway.

"It's a surprise to everybody," Courtney told me.

She said Charles was at the home visiting her brother when he was killed.

However, this wasn't the first time he had been shot.  On New Year's Day around 3:00 a.m., Charles and his girlfriend were leaving the MGM Grand Casino when they were involved in a road rage incident near Third and Bagley, cars cutting each other off.  At I-94 near Junction they were shot.

Michigan State Police arrested 30-year-old Willie Lee Wimberly, charged with assault with intent to murder, and 33-year-old Steve Deshaun Smith-Rush, charged with being an accessory after the fact.

Charles was supposed to testify against them, but even investigators were surprised by what they heard.

"Usually we don't end up showing up for a preliminary exam and finding out that one of the victims has been murdered," said MSP Lieutenant Michael Shaw.

Michigan State Police say both Wimberly and Smith-Rush have been out on bond.  They remain out on bond.

Wimberly's rap sheet is full of weapons charges -- drugs, resisting an officer, assault.  In 2003, he was even charged with first-degree murder.  A jury found him not guilty.

As for Smith-Rush, pass convictions include carrying a concealed weapon, armed robbery and carjacking.

Investigators are trying to determine if what happened in that Ypsilanti Township driveway is related to the road rage case.  They're asking anyone with any information to contact the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Department, state police or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-SPEAK-UP.

As for Charles, he has an extensive history of contact with police, as well -- drugs, weapons, assault -- and it's not yet clear why he was gunned down Tuesday night.

"Brandon was a very nice... loving person, and it's very sad," said Courtney.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Camilla's brother dies in New York after head injury

    Camilla's brother dies in New York after head injury

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 3:10 PM EDT2014-04-23 19:10:58 GMT
    The brother of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, has died after sustaining a serious head injury following a fall in New York, British royal officials said Wednesday. Clarence House said that the 62-year-old Mark Shand died in the hospital Wednesday after falling late Tuesday.
    The brother of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, has died after sustaining a serious head injury following a fall in New York, British royal officials said Wednesday. Clarence House said that the 62-year-old Mark Shand died in the hospital Wednesday after falling late Tuesday.
  • Port Authority could rescind $1 NJ Transit lease

    Port Authority could rescind $1 NJ Transit lease

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 2:57 PM EDT2014-04-23 18:57:07 GMT
    NJ TransitNJ Transit
    The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is holding its monthly board meeting, two days after it heard from a panel on what it needs to do to improve its accountability and efficiency and restore public trust.
    The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey could rescind a $1-a-year lease for a park-and-ride lot near the Lincoln Tunnel. The agency's chief of real estate and development told a committee Wednesday that it should change a deal made in 2012. Published reports have alleged that former Port Authority chairman David Samson voted to approve the lease even though his law firm did business with New Jersey Transit, which operates the park-and-ride lot.
  • Toddler falls from 3-story window, not hurt

    Toddler falls from 3-story window, not hurt

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 2:04 PM EDT2014-04-23 18:04:22 GMT
    New York City police say a 2-year-old boy fell out of a third-story window overnight but was not hurt.
    New York City police say a 2-year-old boy fell out of a third-story window overnight but was not hurt.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices