Charleston police have accused Anwar Khalil Smith's best friend of killing the 30-year-old last month and carrying away the evidence.
Travis Rashad Eady was found less than a mile away from the body, holding car mats with Smith's blood on them, an affidavit said. Eady, 31, of Charleston, was charged Wednesday with murder and possession of a firearm during the act of a violent crime.
"I didn't do that," Eady cried out in court late Wednesday. "I didn't do that."
Smith, 30, of North Charleston, was found March 22 in a Ford Excursion on Francis Street in downtown Charleston.
He had been shot in the head, and authorities think he had been in the car with tinted windows for a day.
About 1:20 a.m. March 21, a police officer stopped to talk to Eady at Rutledge Avenue and Mount Pleasant Street, the affidavit said. It said he provided the officer with identification but then dropped the bloody car mats and ran.
Testing later revealed that the blood was Smith's, the affidavit said.
Eady was already at the Charleston County Detention Center facing drug charges when police charged him with murder. He swayed back and forth, scratched his beard and showed no emotion during a bond hearing until Smith's mother spoke out to the judge.
"My son and this young man were childhood friends since they were 5 years old," the mother told Charleston County Magistrate Mary Holmes. "This young man, I considered him my son, and I called him son."
Eady suddenly became animated, and he cried out to Smith's mother.
"Momma, if you know me, you know I didn't do that," he said. "That's not me, Momma."
He said Smith was his best friend and he could never hurt him.
Eady's eight-page criminal history shows convictions for failure to stop for blue lights and possession of marijuana and cocaine. Holmes set bail on the weapons charge at $500,000. He will later face a circuit judge for a bail hearing on the murder charge.
At the time of his death, Smith was awaiting trial on charges that in 2006 he invaded a home at the St. Andrew's Gardens apartments in West Ashley and shot a couple while they slept. Authorities at the time said that incident was believed to be in retaliation for a previous shooting involving acquaintances.