GPS ankle bracelet led to arrests in Brown killing

Derrontae Holmes

A teen wearing an ankle bracelet that tracked his movements led to the arrest of the man who fatally shot a woman to death on Mother’s Day, according to investigators.

Derrontae P. Holmes, 19, of Darlington Avenue in Charleston fatally shot Dena Brown while she was driving her car on Ashley Phosphate Road, according to the arrest affidavit.

Brown, a 36-year-old wife and mother of three, was shot about 1:45 a.m. May 10 near Ashley Phosphate Road and Northwoods Boulevard after a carload of men mistook her silver Chrysler 300 for another car they had been chasing and shooting at through the streets of North Charleston.

Investigators learned that a teenager was involved in the chase. Detectives met with the teen and his mother three days after Brown was shot and learned that he was wearing an ankle bracelet from a previous arrest. They contacted the Department of Juvenile Justice and got a report of his movements around the time of the chase and Brown’s shooting. The GPS report matched the route and speed during the chase, according to the affidavit.

The teen, who turned 16 the day of his May 14 arrest, was charged with murder, four counts of attempted murder and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime. He was turned over to Juvenile Justice and has not been charged as an adult.

The same day, a woman was arrested on a charge of obstruction of justice. Police say Nigeia Tamika Brown, 34, of Lawrence Street in North Charleston willfully lied to investigators to cover up the teen’s whereabouts. She was released from jail on $200,000 bail.

The teen identified Holmes as a participant, according to the affidavit. Police believe a third man was also in the car.

Richard D. Simmons, 20, of Poplin Street in North Charleston was arrested Friday outside the rental car pavilion at Charleston International Airport on the same charges as the teen.

Another woman was arrested Tuesday on a charge of obstruction of justice. Charmani Keperiche Shark-McDonald, 20, of Alabama Drive in North Charleston lied to investigators about Simmons’ whereabouts, according to the arrest warrant. Her bail was set at $100,000 on Wednesday.

Holmes surrendered at the Charleston County jail Tuesday and also was charged with murder, four counts of attempted murder and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime. He fired four rounds at Brown’s car, hitting her in the left side of her neck and head, according to the affidavit.

Magistrate Linda Lombard set his bail at $100,000 on the weapons charge Wednesday, with no bail on the other charges.

A group of Brown’s family members watched Holmes on a video feed from the jail during his bond hearing. Many of them were also at the bond hearings for the others charged in Brown’s deaths.

“I feel for the family of this young man, especially the mother,” Brown’s mother, Marilyn Wilson, of Goose Creek, told the judge. “We need to keep him off the street. If he is out on the street, there’s going to be more bloodshed. Mr. Holmes should have been home on Mother’s Day honoring his mother instead of out there destroying another mother.”

Brown’s sister, Cathy Colebrooke of Summerville, spoke out after the hearing.

“I want everyone involved to know they didn’t silence Dena’s voice,” she said. “Our youths today have to understand our lives have value.”

Reach Dave Munday at 937-5553.