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Posted on Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 1:23 p.m.

Man accused in West Willow homicide to serve up to 22 years for 2012 robbery charges

By Kyle Feldscher

One of the men accused of killing 29-year-old Brandon Charles will serve up to 22 years in prison for a robbery in Ypsilanti Township last year, court records show.


Avantis Parker

Courtesy of the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office

Avantis Parker, 21, pleaded no contest to assault with intent to rob while armed and armed robbery and pleaded guilty to a charge of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony on Jan. 25. On Wednesday, Washtenaw County Trial Court Judge Archie Brown sentenced Parker two between four years and three months and 20 years in prison on the armed robbery charge and the charge of assault with intent to rob while armed, court records indicate.

Brown also sentenced Parker to two years in prison for the charge of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, records show. That charge carries a mandatory two-year sentence that must be served before the sentences for the robbery charges can begin.

Also sentenced on Wednesday was Parker’s on-again-off-again girlfriend, Sophie Peak. Peak pleaded guilty to a charge of unarmed robbery on Jan. 25 and will serve one year in the Washtenaw County Jail and three years of probation.

Parker and Peak ordered a pizza on April 24, 2012, to be delivered to the 400 block of Bedford Drive in Ypsilanti Township. When the driver arrived, Parker is accused of approaching the man, pulling out a handgun and demanding the food and the money.


Sophie Peak

Courtesy of the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office

The driver backed away from Parker and did not give him money or food. Parker fled the area on foot, and the driver called sheriff’s deputies.

While investigators were talking to the man, Peak came out of the home and claimed the pizza she ordered. She took the food without paying for it and went back to the home.

Deputies and the driver went to confront Peak and get her to pay for the pizza and Parker answered the door. Investigators questioned Parker before he moved toward a nearby blanket. Deputies subdued him before he was able to get to the blanket, which was hiding a gun.

The two entered pleas in the case on Jan. 25 and were not remanded to the Washtenaw County Jail, despite prosecutors asking Brown to do so. Four days later, Charles was shot and killed in a car in the 600 block of Calder Avenue in Ypsilanti Township.

Police allege that Parker and Willie Wimberly, 30, killed Charles after he turned down a $10,000 bribe not to testify against Wimberly in an earlier shooting. Testimony at a preliminary exam earlier this month revealed Parker knew Charles and called him to set up a drug deal on the night of the homicide.


Willie Wimberly

Courtesy of WCSO

At the preliminary exam, Peak was the critical witness for the prosecution against Parker and Wimberly. She was at the scene of the incident on Jan. 29 and was given immunity in the case to testify against Wimberly and Parker. She provided much of the information that led to charges against the two men.

Parker was being held in the Livingston County Jail without bond in the case. Wimberly is being held in the Washtenaw County Jail without bond and the two of them are facing trial on various charges related to the homicide.

Parker faces charges of open murder, being a felon in possession of a firearm, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, carrying a concealed weapon, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and intimidating a witness.

Parker returns to court with Wimberly for a pretrial hearing in front of Brown at 1:30 p.m. May 22. If found guilty, both men could face up to life in prison.

A message was left with Peter Kelley, one of Parker's attorneys, seeking comment on the case Monday afternoon.

Kyle Feldscher covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.



Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 1:43 p.m.

Shouldn't the title read "Man convicted....." Accused presumes he is still under trial.

Kyle Feldscher

Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 2:01 p.m.

citizen - He is still accused in the homicide, which has not gone to trial yet. He was sentenced on the previous case.


Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 2:01 a.m.

I live in Ypsilanti and I am tired of the crime. If I win the lottery I vow to STAY in the bad neighborhood I live in and use the money I would have spent on a mansion to pay for a squad car to sit outside my house 24/7 and pull over every car they can for even the slightest moving violation or equipment violation. Not to give tickets, but to use it as probable cause for a stop and to discover other things and to harass and discourage those up to no good. I would pay for the area to be SO aggressively policed that criminals little by little would get locked up and slither away, and gentrification would take effect as civilized people swooped in on the currently cheap houses and fixed them up. Since I am unlikely to win the lottery, maybe we should propose a hefty millage to do what I brought up? lol


Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 6:17 p.m.

A, it's pretty simple, just move to a place that already has high taxes and you won't see this kind of behavior.

Superior Twp voter

Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 4:20 p.m.

A, I hope you win the lottery!


Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 2:24 a.m.

Oh and when I say harass I mean use it as a reason to stop the person and see what they are up to. I.e. If the person seems legit, they wouldn't be stopped again for whatever (petty) thing they were stopped for. My logic is, almost every car I see in Ypsi has something wrong with it that they could be pulled over for. If police had the funding to do nothing but pull over every suspicious vehicle they could, they would likely discover people with warrants, people commiting crimes etc. If you genuinely can't afford to fix your broken headlight, they wouldn't give you a ticket for it, and they would know you by name since they saw your car every day so you wouldn't be repeatedly pulled over. But the criminals with warrants or reasons to be afraid of the police would be far too nervous to even come into areas that were aggressively enforced, and it would drive criminals out of the area. Believe it or not police can pull you over for whatever they want, the only reason they follow you for 6 blocks first sometimes is they're waiting for you to do something they can articulate as PC for the stop if it ever comes up. Bottom line, if they want to make contact with you they will find a reason to. If you had a city with high crime aggressively enforce petty stuff like a wealthy small town would (minus the ticketing of course, just using it as reasons to talk to people) you would see a dramatic decrease in crime. Well worth the increase in taxes, even if property taxes DOUBLED because I wouldn't have to pay $40 a month for a security system, or for new doors and windows when my house is robbed, or for security cameras etc. Just my 2 cents

r treat

Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 1:47 a.m.

When its easier on the inside these people have nothing to lose. Th tie parents fail these kids time and time again. I'm not making excuses, but there is more to the story and it makes me sick.


Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 12:28 a.m.

I bet the 22 years took that smirk off his face.


Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 2:21 a.m.

If not it will disappear when he meets his new roomies at prison.


Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 10:25 p.m.

There are so many stories in washtenaw county just like this one where a VIOLENT criminal is givin a bond and while out on that bond he/she commits an even more heinous act and is then finally kept off the streets. What's even more sad about this case is Judge Archie Brown could have remanded the bond that Parker should have never been givin, just four days prior to the murder of Mr.Charles. Parker pled no contest/guilty to the robbery just days before and Brown let him walk out of there. Now there is blood on everyone's hands. This has and still continues to sadden me. I'm still praying for the Charles Family.


Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 7:04 p.m.

The domino theory in action

Angry Moderate

Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 6:17 p.m.

Please just give him a life sentence...we can save court costs instead of going through another trial as soon as he gets out of prison and re-offends.


Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 7:19 p.m.

He's still facing murder charges..He'll get his due.


Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 6:09 p.m.

Its very sad that this person was out on bond "Investigators questioned Parker before he moved toward a nearby blanket. Deputies subdued him before he was able to get to the blanket, which was hiding a gun". Why would a person who attempted to get a gun to pull on deputies, not be remanded. A person who is willing to "get into it" with law enforcement, obviously will have no issues pulling a gun on the public. All very sad.