Prosecutor: Witness in Detroit road rage shot and killed - Los Angeles Local News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

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.

  • Amy LangeMore from Amy LangeMore>>

  • New lawyer comes aboard in Bashara case

    New lawyer comes aboard in Bashara case

    Tuesday, April 15 2014 6:33 PM EDT2014-04-15 22:33:50 GMT
    A man charged with arranging the murder of his wife at their suburban Detroit home has a new lawyer.
    A man charged with arranging the murder of his wife at their suburban Detroit home has a new lawyer.
  • Mary Barra speaks with industry insiders ahead of NY auto show

    Mary Barra speaks with industry insiders ahead of NY auto show

    Tuesday, April 15 2014 5:39 PM EDT2014-04-15 21:39:46 GMT
    General Motors CEO Mary Barra spoke with industry insiders this week ahead of the auto show in New York.
    General Motors CEO Mary Barra spoke with industry insiders this week ahead of the auto show in New York.
  • Utash talking more, confused after awaking from coma

    Utash talking more, confused after awaking from coma

    Monday, April 14 2014 5:17 PM EDT2014-04-14 21:17:50 GMT
    Steven Utash, the suburban Detroit motorist brutally beaten after he stopped to help a boy he accidentally hit with his pickup truck, continues his lengthy recovery after waking from a coma on Friday. Utash had been in a medically induced coma for days following the April 2 incident on Detroit's east side.His son, Joseph Utash, tells FOX 2's Amy Lange his father has moments of clarity, along with moments of confusion. Joseph says his father is confused about where he works, among other things...
    Steven Utash, the suburban Detroit motorist brutally beaten after he stopped to help a boy he accidentally hit with his pickup truck, continues his lengthy recovery after waking from a coma on Friday. Utash had been in a medically induced coma for days following the April 2 incident on Detroit's east side.His son, Joseph Utash, tells FOX 2's Amy Lange his father has moments of clarity, along with moments of confusion. Joseph says his father is confused about where he works, among other things...
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Detroit strikes possible 2nd deal with its other retirees

    Detroit strikes possible 2nd deal with its other retirees

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 4:42 PM EDT2014-04-16 20:42:05 GMT
    The city of Detroit reached tentative agreements to preserve pensions for retired police office and firefighters but cut monthly payments for other former employees, key deals that could accelerate the largest public bankruptcy in U.S. history, officials said Tuesday.
    The city of Detroit reached tentative agreements to preserve pensions for retired police office and firefighters but cut monthly payments for other former employees, key deals that could accelerate the largest public bankruptcy in U.S. history, officials said Tuesday.
  • FOXe report: Smart meter concerns

    FOXe report: Smart meter concerns

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 4:38 PM EDT2014-04-16 20:38:12 GMT
    DTE Energy crews have installed smart meters, or advanced meters, on 1.5 million homes across Michigan. The new meters are an advancement in technology and can be read remotely by radio signals, but some homeowners say the meters are intrusive and dangerous.
    DTE Energy crews have installed smart meters, or advanced meters, on 1.5 million homes across Michigan. The new meters are an advancement in technology and can be read remotely by radio signals, but some homeowners say the meters are intrusive and dangerous.
  • Detroit still needs $350M from state lawmakers

    Detroit still needs $350M from state lawmakers

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 4:10 PM EDT2014-04-16 20:10:54 GMT
    Pressure is building for Michigan lawmakers to commit $350 million to Detroit pensions after the bankrupt city reached tentative agreements with pension funds and a retiree group.
    Pressure is building for Michigan lawmakers to commit $350 million to Detroit pensions after the bankrupt city reached tentative agreements with pension funds and a retiree group.
Powered by WorldNow

KTTV FOX 11
1999 S. Bundy Dr.
Los Angeles CA 90025

Main: (310) 584-2000
News Tips? (310) 584-2025

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