Despite self-defense claim, man is convicted, gets 40 years in Charleston slaying

Brandon Rashard Marshall

Despite a claim of self-defense, a 23-year-old man was convicted of murder earlier this month in a 2014 shooting in downtown Charleston.

Brandon Rashard Marshall, a resident of Noisette Boulevard in North Charleston, will serve 40 years in prison under the sentence that Circuit Judge Markley Dennis handed down April 7.

The Charleston Police Department had said that Marshall and Anthony Louis Williams Jr., 23, got into an argument on May 22, 2014, outside an apartment at 9 Wilson St., which is just south of Beaufain Street.

At some point during the quarrel, Williams was shot several times. The police said they found Williams’ girlfriend cradling his head when they got there.

But the week of Marshall’s trial, his attorney, Melisa Gay of Mount Pleasant, filed a written motion for immunity from prosecution under the S.C. Protection of Persons and Property Act. The law allows people who are acting lawfully to use deadly force if they reasonably believe that they or someone else could be seriously hurt or if they think it would prevent a serious crime.

The motion stated that Marshall was “engaged in a lawful activity and was attacked” before he shot Williams.

Williams, though, was trying to break into his own girlfriend’s house, the paperwork alleged. Marshall had a right, it added, to stand his ground to prevent the possible burglary and any injury to himself and the woman.

But the trial went forward, and a jury found Marshall guilty of murder. Assistant Solicitor David Osborne prosecuted the case.

Marshall will get credit for the time he has spent in jail since his arrest on the day of the killing. By law, he must serve at least 85 percent, or 34 years, of the sentence before he’s eligible for release.

Reach Andrew Knapp at 843-937-5414 or twitter.com/offlede.