North Charleston man, 25, implicated in double slaying in Massachusetts
A North Charleston man arrested Thursday on charges that he fatally shot two people last month in Massachusetts has a felony rap sheet in the Lowcountry that includes drugs and burglary.
Guerry Sharad Hickman, 25, of Copley Circle faces two counts of murder, as well as charges of unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition in connection with the Dec. 29 slayings in Brockton, Mass., which is south of Boston.
In the tri-county area, Hickman has an arrest history dating to 2004, according to the State Law Enforcement Division.
He has convictions for resisting arrest in 2004 and a non-violent burglary in 2005. The North Charleston Police Department also arrested him in May and again in September for marijuana possession, resulting in another two misdemeanor convictions.
Acting Wednesday on tips from the Massachusetts State Police, officers got a warrant and searched a home in the Westcott subdivision, where they said he lived. They found drugs, an incident report stated.
Hickman was arrested on charges of possession with intent to distribute cocaine and crack cocaine and an intent to do so within a half-mile of a school.
Prosecutors in the Bay Stateís Plymouth County then announced in a statement Friday that Hickman had been charged in the deaths of Tashawn Leslie and Tyrelle Baker, whose bodies were found four days after Christmas inside a running car in Brockton.
North Charleston officers also arrested two other residents of the home at 5280 Copley Circle, which is in the cityís northern section near Summerville: Anthony Rivera, 32, and Crystal Jean Mergenthaler, 27.
Rivera was wanted on a burglary charge in Massachusetts, according to the local incident report. Phone records also showed that he was the last person to speak with the slaying victims before and during their killings, the Boston Herald newspaper reported.
Rivera, who is on probation for armed robbery and was cleared of a 2000 murder charge, turned himself in late Thursday to the Moncks Corner police. His booking photo shows a tattoo of a marijuana leaf on his forehead and another inking on his neck of a snub-nose revolver firing a bullet toward his Adamís apple.
Mergenthalerís arrest on charges of trafficking heroin and possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine was her first in this state, SLED records show.
Earlier this week, local investigators cited Massachusetts authorities in reporting that Rivera and Mergenthaler were suspects in the killings. It was not clear Friday whether that was still the case.
But Mergenthaler said in an email to The Post and Courier that she had been cleared of any involvement with the deaths. Several attempts to confirm her contention with Massachusetts prosecutors and Brockton police spokesman Lt. Paul Bonanca were not successful.
The North Charleston police reported that the two were nervous when asked if they had been in Massachusetts. Reached by telephone Friday, Mergenthaler declined to answer the same question.
Photos posted on Mergenthalerís Facebook page Dec. 28 show her enjoying Christmas with Rivera and some children in a locale where snow was falling. The exact location isnít clear.
Mergenthaler acknowledged facing drug charges but said that Rivera does not face any counts locally. She posted $30,000 in bail on two charges and was released on the same day she was booked into the Dorchester County jail.
ďI have children. I have a family. I have a job,Ē she said by telephone. ďIím not being charged with murder. That just isnít the case.Ē
Reach Andrew Knapp at 937-5414 or twitter.com/offlede.