Affidavit: Feud preceded killing

William Nelson Jr., father of slain 22-year-old William Nelson III, remembers his son as a hard worker.

The men accused of shooting a 22-year-old to death near the Crosstown last month had been feuding with him over drugs for several days, according to court documents.

Two North Charleston men, 23-year-old Dontez Alonzo Wright of Linda Street and 19-year-old Devin Brandon Middleton of Ashby Avenue, are charged with killing William Nelson III shortly after midnight June 24. Both men were arrested Monday night and are being held in the Cannon Detention Center.

A witness told police that Nelson had been robbed by three men on Todd Street three days before he was shot to death, according to a police affidavit at a bond hearing Tuesday.

Magistrate Linda Lombard could not set bail on the murder charges but set bail of $100,000 each on a charge of possession of a weapon during commission of a violent crime.

A witness told police “about a feud that has been escalating between William and the defendant and his associates over recent narcotic sales on Line Street,” according to the affidavit.

A police report released previously said “several narcotic items,” including two tubes containing white powder, were found beside Nelson’s body.

Nelson was on probation at the time of his death in connection with a crack cocaine conviction from June 2011, according to court records. He was convicted three times on cocaine charges, each time earning suspended sentences and probation, records show.

According to the affidavit at bond court Tuesday, Nelson was walking near the Crosstown and Line Street about 12:35 a.m. June 24, when three men holding guns walked up behind him. The shortest of the three gunmen said, “What’s up, Lil’ Will? Remember me?” and then shot Nelson several times.

Nelson fell down, and another gunman hopped up on the median and shot him several more times.

The account is based on a witness who saw the shooting, and evidence at the crime scene corroborates the account, according to the affidavit.

Working from a photo lineup, the witness identified the short gunman who first shot Nelson as Wright and the other gunman who shot Nelson after he fell as Middleton, according to the affidavit.

Several of Nelson’s family members and his girlfriend were at the bond hearing Tuesday but none spoke in court. Nelson’s father, William Nelson Jr., said after the hearing that his son was a hard worker.

“My son used to work with me,” said Nelson, who waterproofs and paints houses. “He is a good worker, a good young man. I ain’t putting no icing on the cake because he’s my son. Anybody who know him, he was a good guy. Anybody he worked for can talk good about him.”

Reach Dave Munday at 937-5533.

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