3 charged in Pierpont Pub robbery

Katrell Jamal Mitchell, Marquell Lovon Holmes and Deangelo Martequis Brown were arrested Monday, Oct. 31 in connection with a robbery at Pierpont Pub.

For the first time in her life, Stephanie Legette didn't feel safe in her own neighborhood.

Concerned about two recent violent incidents in the area, including one in which a child was killed, Legette kept the door locked Tuesday at the Pierpont Pub she manages.

Monday night, two men with a shotgun robbed her bartender and two customers at the 2366 Ashley River Road pub. Just a week earlier, an intruder with a shotgun blasted through a door just down the street at 1733 Pierpont Ave., fatally wounding 5-year-old Allison Griffor.

Charleston police who set up a perimeter stopped a white Crown Victoria around 11:30 p.m. Monday, only a block away from the pub holdup, and arrested two men trying to run. A third man was apprehended later, and a fourth suspect remains at large, police said.

Bail was set at $100,000 for Marquell Lovon Holmes, 23, and Deangelo

Martequis Brown, 22, cousins residing on Elroy Road in Adams Run; and at $25,000 for Katrell Jamaal Mitchell, 22, of Parkers Ferry Road in Adams Run. All three men are charged with armed robbery and robbery while armed with a deadly weapon. Police also charged Brown with simple possession of marijuana.

Warrants allege two of the suspects entered the pub, dressed in black, and with a double-barreled shotgun. They demanded money from patrons and the cash register, and fled with $350, two bottles of vodka and a cellphone, the warrants said.

Warrants indicate Holmes was the getaway car's driver. Both Holmes and Brown later gave police information implicating Mitchell in the robbery, the warrants said.

Legette said the robbery was preceded by a man coming into the bar to ask how late the pub would stay open. Then two men -- one in a full mask and another with only his eyes showing -- arrived around 11 p.m. to the side entrance, she said. One man pointed a shotgun at two customers and the bartender. While the bartender emptied the cash register, a woman turned over her cellphone and a man gave up $15 cash, Legette said.

The bartender then told the men to go to a utility room and check the safe, which triggered an alarm, and the robbers fled, Legette said.

"This is more than just a bar to us," Legette said Tuesday, as some of the regulars at the neighborhood watering hole made their way through the door. "This is more like home. That's why this is very personal."

Police said four men fled the car when police pulled it over. Holmes and Brown were apprehended almost immediately, and, the warrants allege, were in clothes fitting descriptions provided by robbery victims, and in possession of a bottle of vodka.

Warrants state that Brown told investigators he saw one of the suspects "running from woods" behind the robbery scene, "with what appeared to be a dark in color 12-gauge shotgun in his hand and a bottle of Absolut vodka in the other hand."

A shotgun believed used in the pub holdup has been recovered, police spokesman Charles Francis said. The gun and suspects are of interest to sheriff's investigators probing Griffor's death. Her head was pierced by shotgun pellets while she was in bed during an apparent home invasion attempt on Oct. 25 at her Pierpont Avenue home. She died Thursday at Medical University Hospital.

Sheriff's Maj. Jim Brady said the Sheriff's Office is working with Charleston and North Charleston police, "and any other agency where we might find or suspect any link to the attempted home invasion and shooting on Pierpont Road."

Investigators also are probing a home-invasion holdup Oct. 22 at 1751 Dogwood Road, also involving a shotgun. Three men have been charged in that case. So far, investigators are saying they have not found any links between the pub, Dogwood Road and Pierpont Avenue holdups.

Reach Allyson Bird at 937-5594 or on Twitter at @allysonjbird. Reach Edward C. Fennell at 937-5560.