Suspect, victim in East Side killing no strangers to police
Both the victim and suspect in a shooting death last week on Charleston's East Side shared something in common — long criminal histories.
And the suspect in the Thursday killing was shot in 2005.
Joshua Robinson, 29, of Ranger Drive in North Charleston was arrested about 9:20 a.m. Tuesday at Amherst and America streets and charged with murder in the death of 23-year-old Maliek Byers, Charleston police said.
Police said the killing of Byers, who was shot in the back three times early Thursday and died on Hanover Street, was drug related.
Robinson is being held at the Cannon Detention Center and is scheduled to face a bond judge today, police said.
Police said officers responded about 2:30 a.m. to a report of shots fired in the area. Officers found Byers had been shot and had collapsed on stairs leading to an apartment on Hanover Street. Police found shell casings nearby on Reid Street.
Court records show that both Robinson and Byers were no strangers to the criminal justice system. Robinson has numerous convictions and faced a charge of murder a few years ago.
Records show Robinson was charged with the June 2008 shooting death of 36-year-old Earl Rogers, but the charge was dropped in late 2010.
Since 2000, Robinson also has garnered convictions for burglary, grand larceny and violating parole. He was convicted of assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature after he fired a gun into a building in July 2001, records show.
In 2005, Robinson told police he was shot in the leg and arm while urinating in an empty lot on Reid and America streets. A woman living at a nearby home on America Street reported Robinson began ringing her doorbell and banging on her front door at about 1:40 a.m., yelling, “Open the door, it's me — Josh!” a police report said.
Robinson had been shot in the left leg above the knee and in his left bicep, but Robinson told officers he didn't see the shooter, the report said. After being wounded, he ran toward the house on America Street. Investigators found five .380-caliber shells in the empty lot, police said.
Byers was arrested in 2005 and 2006 on drug and weapons possession charges and was handed a suspended sentence and shock probation. He was arrested again in 2006 on weapons and drug possession charges and sentenced to a year in prison.
In 2007 and 2008, Byers again was convicted of weapons possession offenses. He was charged in 2010 with cocaine base possession and in 2011 with a gambling law violation and contempt of Family Court, records show.
Andrew Knapp contributed to this report.