The mother of a Mount Pleasant restaurant manager said Friday that she forgives the former co-worker who allegedly shot her son in the back during a robbery.
“I forgive this man, and I hope that he can turn his life to God,” said Christopher Dixon’s mother, who was not identified in court and declined to give her name.
The woman was talking about Brandon Lloyd Daniels, 26, of Easton Street in North Charleston, who was fired from Tavern & Table on Shem Creek, where Dixon is a manager.
Daniels and Joshua Olando Washington, also 26, were arrested Thursday, 15 days after a gunman wearing a red bandanna over his face entered the restaurant manager’s office around 11:30 p.m., held a handgun to the head of one of the three people in the office and shot Dixon in the lower back, according to an affidavit. The shooter left with an undisclosed amount of cash, according to reports.
Daniels and Washington were charged with three counts of kidnapping and one count each of armed robbery and attempted murder in the April 4 shooting that left Dixon wounded, police said.
They were denied bail Friday and were expected to go before a circuit judge in about a month.
A day before the incident, Washington rented a Dodge Ram truck that matches a vehicle seen on surveillance cameras, according to an affidavit.
Daniels had been asking about the restaurant’s closing routine and how much cash was in the safe, according to the affidavit. Mapping on his cellphone places him in the location of the restaurant at the time of the robbery, the document added.
Daniels, represented by a public defender, had no family members in court. He is alleged to have shot Dixon while out on bail on a burglary charge.
He has a lengthy criminal history, including felony convictions for burglary, drug possession and carrying weapons, state records showed. He has spent time in prison.
Washington, a Hanahan sanitation worker and resident of Beauregard Road in Summerville, is accused of being the driver, said his lawyer, Peter McCoy, who was flanked during the hearing by Washington’s grandmother, mother, the mother of his children and his two children. There is no evidence that Washington went into the restaurant, McCoy said.
Washington has one past conviction, for misdemeanor marijuana possession, state records showed.
“When you examine the relationship between Mr. Washington and the co-defendant in this case, these are two extreme roles,” McCoy said. “I have seen no evidence to even correlate or represent that (Washington) knew what was going on or what the co-defendant did when these crimes were committed.”
The victim, Dixon, remains in the hospital, his mother said in court. He is “suffering deeply” and in “excruciating” pain, she said. A fundraising effort for Dixon and his family that was started on GoFundMe.com had raised more than $25,000 of its $30,000 goal by Friday.
Also at the hearing, a friend read a statement written by Dixon’s wife, Lauren, who was at home with the couple’s infant daughter.
“He is one of the kindest, most gentle souls that you have ever met,” Lauren Dixon wrote. “He is an amazing husband, a loving father and a wonderful man to all of the people that are part of his life.”
Her husband is missing the first months of their daughter’s life, she said.
“As for these two evil men that have hurt my sweet Christopher, first and foremost, I pray that they find God because only someone who is truly hurt inside can do such a horrible thing to someone so undeserving,” her statement said. “But I do feel that my husband deserves justice. Chris was giving him what he wanted, and he still shot him.”