Trenton man arrested in fatal shooting of victim who was set to testify against him
Courtesy of WCSO
A Trenton man was arrested Tuesday in the shooting death of an Ypsilanti Township man who was set to testify against him.
Willie Lee Wimberly, 30, was arraigned Tuesday on charges of first-degree murder in connection with the Jan. 29 homicide of Brandon Charles, 28.
Charles was found shot to death in a parked car in the 600 block of Calder Avenue in Ypsilanti Township a day before he was set to testify against Wimberly and Steve Smith-Rush, of Inkster, in a Detroit road rage shooting. Avantis Parker, 21, was charged last week with open murder in connection with Charles' death.
Sgt. Geoff Fox of the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office said Parker and Wimberly were acquaintances. Wimberly is also charged with conspiracy to commit first-degree premeditated murder, which means he is accused of planning Charles' death with Parker, Fox said.
Wimberly would have known who Charles was from the court proceedings in the Detroit shooting, according to police. A preliminary exam for the road rage case was set for the morning of Jan. 30 in Wayne County, but was postponed after Charles was found dead in his vehicle. According to police, Charles was shot multiple times in the torso.
Fox said Smith-Rush is not a suspect in the fatal shooting, though investigators are continuing to conduct interviews with anyone involved.
Wimberly is accused of shooting at Charles and Charles' girlfriend on Interstate 94 at Junction on Jan. 1 after the two parties were involved in a traffic accident at a nearby casino, state police have said.
Charles was shot once. The woman in the car was shot nine times.
Wimberly was arrested in Westland by the U.S. Marshals Detroit Fugitive Apprehension Team Tuesday. He was arraigned from the Washtenaw County Jail Tuesday on charges of first-degree premeditated murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree premeditated murder, felony firearm, felon in possession of a firearm and carrying a concealed weapon.
Wimberly was given no bond. His next court date is scheduled for Feb. 19 at 8:30 a.m.
Parker, of Northville, was charged Feb. 6 with open murder, being a felon in possession of a firearm, possession of a firearm during commission of a felony and carrying a concealed weapon.
Fox did not say which of the two men is believed to have pulled the trigger.
Charles' death was just four days after Parker pleaded no contest to two felonies and pleaded guilty to another in the robbery of a pizza delivery driver in Ypsilanti Township in April. He pleaded no contest to assault with intent to rob while armed and armed robbery, and pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm during commission of a felony. He was scheduled to be sentenced on April 17.