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Posted on Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 5:59 a.m.

Police continue to investigate any link between homicide and road rage shooting

By John Counts


Brandon Charles

Courtesy photo

Police Thursday continued investigating the fatal shooting of Brandon Charles, who was found dead in a car in the driveway of an Ypsilanti Township home Tuesday night.

But there weren't any more details to release in the Ypsilanti Township man's death, said Sgt. Geoff Fox of the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office.

“We’re interviewing people, tracking down information, tracking down tips,” he said.

MUGSHOT-Willie Wimberly.JPG

Willie Wimberly

Courtesy of Wayne County Jail

MUGSHOT-Steven Deshaun Smith-Rush.JPG

Steven Deshaun Smith-Rush

Courtesy of Wayne County Jail

Part of the investigation is determining if there is any connection between the homicide and a "road rage" shooting in Detroit on New Year's Day.

“We’re investigating any and all information that pertains to (Charles)," said Fox. "The incident earlier this month pertains to (him)."

Charles was scheduled to testify at a preliminary examination for the men accused in the New Year's Day shooting the morning after he was found dead.

Detectives have not yet questioned the two men, Fox said. Both 30-year-old Willie Lee Wimberly, of Trenton, and 33-year-old Steve DeShawn Smith-Rush, of Inkster, remain free on bond.

Their preliminary examination that was adjourned Wednesday morning has been rescheduled for Feb. 20. In an email, Maria Miller from the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office said no information will be released as long as the homicide is under investigation

A call to James W. Anderson, Wimberly's attorney in the road rage shooting, was not returned as of Thursday evening.

Obadiah Benyhwh, a lifelong resident of West Willow who knew Charles, said Wednesday that Charles' girlfriend, who was shot nine times in the road rage shooting incident, was released from the hospital Monday.

Fox said detectives have spoken with the woman, who police will not identify, but that she was not present when Charles was shot Tuesday night at a home in the 600 block of Calder Avenue.

“There’s nothing to indicate she has any involvement in the case,” Fox said.

Benyhwh said Charles was at a cousin's house before coming to the Calder Avenue house, where a friend lived. The house was in the process of being vacated, said Benyhwh, who did not want to identify the people Charles was visiting.

"They are ... moving out of the house," he said. Benyhwh was just around the corner sitting on a porch when the shooting occurred. He didn't hear the shots but saw police responding to the scene.

Benyhwh said he last saw Charles the day before.

"It's very tragic. He was a decent individual," he said.


Fresh Start

Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 11:54 p.m.

Sould be easy....where were the suspects and their close associates?: cell phone tracking, voice mail, recent calls, missed calls, texts, facebook, twitter, highway cameras, local businesses, ATMs, visa/master card, eye witnesses, DNA, vehicle descriptions, computer forensics...motive is a gimme, opportunity....??? Waiting for next headline....Good police work results in arrest!

james farmer

Sun, Feb 3, 2013 : 8:13 a.m.

Its wayne county that were talking about! They will give u a bond for murder but it has to be high $250.000 or more


Sun, Feb 3, 2013 : 12:54 a.m.

BTW: I find it an interesting choice, to use the pic of one of the alledged road rage shooting perps, rather than a photo o the late Mr. Charles. ...


Sun, Feb 3, 2013 : 12:55 a.m.

In the thumbnail... that is...


Sun, Feb 3, 2013 : 12:36 a.m.

1.) The question should be why bond was given at all? 2.) @Paul (in reply to texasgirl18) 6:58 PM on 2/2/2013 "Its Wayne county, the jails are jammed pack filled..." Actually... No... No it isn't... May 11, 2012 ... "I have a thousand empty beds on any given day," said Sheriff Benny Napoleon.


Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 2:46 p.m.

You are right. I am just confused. I am not from Michigan, I am from Texas and in the state of Texas on this type of charge, bond IF given would not be $250,000.00. You can believe you would not be out period. And regardless if the jails are packed, which they are not, given the circumstances there should of been room made for this guy. But it really leads me to believe was this really road rage?


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 9:59 p.m.

First of all.. Do your homework.. Considering the circumstances the bond is low. Most people who are arrested for attempted murder is much higher. I can see where the education system failed you.


Sat, Feb 2, 2013 : 11:58 p.m.

Its Wayne county, the jails are jammed pack filled and attempted murder charge is more common there. They got "tons" of people charged with 1st degree murder in and around Detroit. I wounder if 10% of the $250,000 got him out ?

james farmer

Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 9:31 p.m.

$250.000 cash bond isnt a low bond dumb a$$ obviously mommy and daddy have $$$$$


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 8:24 p.m.

I have read numerous articles about this incident the past few days and I am so confused by this whole situation. I understand this is being investigated to see if this could be connected to the incident Mr. Charles and his girlfriend had on New Year's. I had read Mr. Charles stated he was having issues with someone from the incident that happened on New Year's Day, but was the police notified about this? Also why would these 2 guys receive a bon considering their history. Mr. Wimberly had went to trial for Homicide, and yes he found not guilty. Rush-Smith has assualt, carjacking just to name a few. Why would Wayne county allow these 2 to have a bond, but a low bond to where they could post to get out? Were Mr. Charles and this young lady notfied these guys were out on bond? Was protection offered? Was this young lady going to testify? And why haven't the police talked to these guys? If this incident is connected you can probably believe this young lady is going to be too scared to even testify. This is a senseless and sad act. I am praying for Mr. Charles family and friends. He seemed to be well liked and known.

Atticus F.

Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 3:25 p.m.

My first thought was that maybe the original shooting goes a little deeper than "a road rage incident". I really haven't heard of many road rage incidents that end with someone shooting 14 rounds into a car.


Sat, Feb 2, 2013 : 11:54 p.m.

Yeah but then we have had a person shooting at cars just for the fun of it so who knows. I do see your point, there might be more to this then road rage. Then again there other case might have nothing to do with his killing. Must not be an easy job investigating these cases, you gotta separate facts from your gut feelings sometimes.


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 5:58 p.m.

When you buy a car that costs 20x more than your house you protect it dawg!


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 5:56 p.m.

Atticus "truth is stranger than fiction"

Iam truth

Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 4:44 p.m.

apparently you haven't been in Detroit at 330am...crazy things


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 1:42 p.m.

This whole situation is just really sad to me. For starters, to be brazen enough to shoot at someone on the expressway is just crazy. Over a car accident no less? But now this young man is shot dead just hours before testifying. I really do hope someone is held accountable for this. And though I'm sure she will be afraid now, I hope the young woman is able to testify against thet accused shooters in the original case.