Prosecutor: Witness in Detroit road rage shot and killed - My29 WFTC Minneapolis-St. Paul

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>>

  • Neighbors tie pink ribbons to remember murdered Armada teen

    Neighbors tie pink ribbons to remember murdered Armada teen

    Monday, July 28 2014 5:48 PM EDT2014-07-28 21:48:30 GMT
    The community in Armada Township is pulling together to support the family of murdered 14-year-old April Millsap.
    The community in Armada Township is pulling together to support the family of murdered 14-year-old April Millsap.
  • Power outage numbers across southeast Michigan

    Power outage numbers across southeast Michigan

    Monday, July 28 2014 4:38 PM EDT2014-07-28 20:38:56 GMT
    As of 4 p.m., approximately 126,000 DTE Energy customers are out of power due to the high winds and lightning that hit southeast Michigan Sunday afternoon. DTE has restored power to 60,000 of the customers impacted by the storm.
    As of 4 p.m., approximately 126,000 DTE Energy customers are out of power due to the high winds and lightning that hit southeast Michigan Sunday afternoon. DTE has restored power to 60,000 of the customers impacted by the storm.
  • Let It Rip Weekend Proposal One and the Mongo Brothers

    Let It Rip Weekend Proposal One and the Mongo Brothers

    Let It Rip Weekend Proposal One and the Mongo Brothers

    Monday, July 28 2014 2:46 PM EDT2014-07-28 18:46:07 GMT
    How is Proposal One tied into funding our local schools, police and fire departments, plus should African Americans abandon the Democratic Party and the UAW?
    How is Proposal One tied into funding our local schools, police and fire departments, plus should African Americans abandon the Democratic Party and the UAW?

Powered by WorldNow

WFTC-TV
11358 Viking Drive
Eden Prairie, MN 55344

Phone: (952) 944-9999
Fax: (952) 942-0455

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