By Natalie Caula
NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) – A man accused of killing a pizza delivery driver in Dorchester County denies he did it.
Stephawn Sherrod Brown, 18, appeared before a bond court judge in North Charleston municipal court Monday. North Charleston police charged him with murder, armed robbery and possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime.
Police say Brown shot Maraleius Birdsong in the head. Birdsong, 20, was delivering a pizza to the Appian Way Apartments on Friday in Dorchester County. Police say Birdsong, who worked for Domino's Pizza, arrived at apartment #920 to deliver a pizza to "Tre".
According to court records, when he arrived the occupant of the apartment stated that no order for food was placed but "a person named ‘Tre' lived at a nearby apartment." When Birdsong returned to his car, police say Brown shot him once in the head. Birdsong was rushed to MUSC where he died from his injury.
Court records show Brown was armed with a 9mm pistol, along with an "unknown co-defendant" who court records say both robbed Brown. Detectives are still unsure if there is, indeed, a second suspect.
The affidavit states Brown robbed Birdsong of about $38.00 worth of Domino's Pizza delivery food. It also says the Domino's Pizza delivery "hot box" that Birdsong used to deliver the food was found near where the shooting occurred, empty. Later detectives say they found food consistent with what was ordered from Domino's Pizza and delivered by Birdsong inside Brown's bedroom dresser drawer and in the kitchen.
During the bond court hearing Monday Brown apologized to Birdsong's family for what had happened to him, but said he did not commit the crime.
Birdsong's mother, Teresa Gardner says two families have now been devastated. Gardner says her son loved his job and had been working for Domino's Pizza for the last three months to pay for college. He was currently attending Trident Technical College, according to Gardner. He was studying to become an electrical engineer.
While Gardner herself says she would worry about her son delivering pizzas at night, she says her son wasn't scared. Birdsong would have been 21 on May 10th.
"We feel cheated," Gardner said. "All we ask is that justice be served."
Brown's sister also appeared saying she can't imagine the pain the victim's family is going through and apologized for any involvement her brother may have had.
Brown is currently being held at the jail in Summerville. The municipal judge set Brown's bond for two charges; possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime at $100,000 and for the armed robbery charge, $200,000. The judge could not set bond for the murder charge. That can only be set by a Circuit Court judge.