Man charged with murder in West Ashley slaying

Walter Williamson, 32, of Pine Forest Drive in North Charleston, faces charges of murder and possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime.

Charleston police on Friday arrested a 32-year-old man suspected of gunning down a West Ashley man during a drug deal.

Walter Williamson, of Pine Forest Drive in North Charleston, faces charges of murder and possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime.

Charleston County Magistrate JoAnna Summey set bail Saturday at $500,000 on the weapons charge, but Williamson will remain in jail because a magistrate can’t set bail on a murder charge.

The arrest was made in connection with the shooting death of 40-year-old Richard Williams, of Avalon Circle, according to an arrest affidavit.

Williams was found lying facedown in a driveway near his home about 5:40 p.m. Wednesday, authorities said. The area is off Orange Grove Road near Ashley Hall Road.

Williams died at the scene from a gunshot wound, according to the Charleston County Coroner’s Office.

“Detectives met with several witnesses that stated the following,” the affidavit stated. “A gunshot was heard; the victim fell to the ground and then ran across the street with a backpack before collapsing.”

Witnesses also reported seeing a four-door sedan “hastily” back out of the driveway, followed by a gunshot, according to the document. The vehicle then sped away from the scene.

The vehicle was later determined to be Williamson’s, and the suspect was summoned to the home by a third man in order to buy drugs from Williams, the affidavits stated.

When questioned by investigators, Williamson admitted being in contact with the man suspected of orchestrating the drug deal, and he admitted driving to Avalon Circle, the document said.

Cellphone records also placed Williamson at the scene at the time of the shooting, police said.

Williams was the fourth homicide victim this year in the city of Charleston and the 22nd in the tri-county area.

Dave Munday contributed to this report. Reach Christina Elmore at 937-5908 or at Twitter.com/celmorePC.