Marley Lion’s parents walked through the fourth floor hallway of the courthouse in downtown Charleston this morning. The trial for the man accused of killing their 17-year-old son last year is set to begin today.
A judge began the process of the jury selection and other procedural events are also expected to take place before opening arguments begin.
Ryan P. Deleston, 32, is charged with murder in the shooting death of Lion on June 16, 2012 in the parking lot outside Famous Joes, where Lion had parked his car that night.
Pre-trial motions were filed by both the prosecution and defense this morning, according to court records. Those motions shed some light on the strategies and plans from the prosecution and defense for this trial, that could last all week.
Deleston’s defense attorney, Charleston County’s Chief Public Defender Ashley Pennington filed a motion for the prosecution to reveal a complete record of all of their witnesses’ arrests and convictions. Pennington also filed a motion to sequester the witnesses and to keep the prosecution from showing the jury photos of Lion’s body.
In his motion, Pennington called the potential use of the photos “highly inflammatory” and without cause.
Pennington also doesn’t want the prosecution to reveal to the jury Deleston’s prior convictions. He also filed a motion that would suppress the use of statement’s Deleston made to investigators. Pennington stated investigators failed to honor his rights to remain silent and applied pressure on Deleston by keeping him “in custody and in the interrogation room all day,” the motion stated.
He also filed a motion for the prosecution to reveal certain evidence they plan to use involving the evidence of other crimes, bad acts or wrongs regarding Deleston.
In response, the prosecution said they’ve already provided all the information that the defense is entitled to, according to their response to the motion.
The prosecution stated their intent to offer testimony regarding Deleston’s statements that he was in need of money and that he considered robbing several businesses before settling on targeting Famous Joes, the court document stated.
They also intend to provide testimony regarding Deleston’s drug use during the time before and the night of the murder, the filing stated.
The prosecution is also asking a judge to prohibit testimony from the defense regarding 29-year-old Bryan River’s use of the murder weapon during an armed robbery and shooting two weeks before Lion’s killing, which the prosecution called “remote and irrelevant” in its court filing.
Julius Brown, 33, and Rivers have confirmed their involvement in the attempted armed robbery of Lion after their other plan to rob Famous Joes fell through, the prosecution’s filing stated.
The pair already have pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in exchange for their cooperation in Deleston’s prosecution. Their sentences depend on how much they cooperate.
Reach Natalie Caula at 937-5594 or Twitter.com/ncaula.