Court affidavit suggests Lion murder was a failed robbery - WCIV-TV | ABC News 4 - Charleston News, Sports, Weather

Court affidavit suggests Lion murder was a failed robbery

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Marley Lion (Provided) Marley Lion (Provided)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- According to an affidavit, the death of Marley Lion was a result of what was originally a plan of a group of men to commit a robbery at a sports bar.

"When Marley Lion pulled up, he interrupted their plan and they decided to rob him instead," the affidavit states.

Marley Lion was found next to his parked vehicle in the Famous Joe's Bar and Grill just after 4 a.m. on June 16. Police say he was shot several times, but before his death told them, "they tried to rob me."

On Tuesday, July 31, the day that would have been Lion's 18th birthday, Charleston Police Chief Greg Mullen announced the arrest of four men charged in Lion's death.

Check back with ABC News 4 as we continue to develop this story.

The men charged in the death of Marley Lion:


Ryan Deleston (alleged trigger man)
meth and the brain
Deleston is charged with murder, use of a weapon in a violent crime, attempted armed robbery, and possession of a weapon with an obliterated serial number. He's no stranger to law enforcement officials. His SLED rap sheet is a half-dozen pages long and includes charges related to drug possession, drug distribution, simple assault and resisting arrest. Mullen said 30-year-old Deleston was arrested as he exited a CARTA bus on Monday, July 30, 2012.
According to an affidavit, Deleston said he and another suspect passed the gun considerd to be the murder weapon back and forth in preparation for an attempted armed robbery of Marley Lion.
Officials with the Charleston Police Department say with the help of the ATF, they were able to purchase a gun from Deleston -- a gun with a missing serial number that SLED said was the murder weapon.

Julius Brown (second time he's been charged w/ murder)
julius brown
32-year-old Julius Brown is charged with obstruction of justice, murder and attempted armed robbery. Julius Brown was arrested on White Oak Drive on Monday, July 30, 2012. Investigators say Julius Brown provided a false alibi for Ryan Deleston.
A search of the South Carolina sex offender database reveals Julius Brown was convicted in 2004 of criminal sexual conduct with a 16-year-old female. He was also charged in 2004 for the 2000 murder of 23-year-old Atiyaa Manley. That charge was dismissed. Ninth Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson says the case was thrown out because the only witness died.

Brian Rivers (previous conviction for armed robbery)
brian rivers
27-year-old Bryan Rivers is facing charges of murder, attempted armed robbery and possession of a weapon with an obliterated serial number. Rivers' rap sheet is just as long as Deleston's. He has previous convictions of assault and battery, robbery and drug possession. Rivers was arrested on White Oak Drive Monday, July 30, 2012.
According to an affidavit, Ryan Deleston said he and Rivers passed the gun back and forth in preparation for an attempted armed robbery of Lion.

George Brown (only suspect not charged with murder)
george brown
The arrest of 27-year-old George Brown makes the fourth in the investigation. He is charged with accessory after the fact of murder and possession of a handgun with an obliterated serial number.
Brown has a much smaller criminal file than the others charged in the case. He has a previous conviction for a simple assault charge. In 2010 he was found shot several times in the driveway of a home in the Ponderosa subdivision, and investigators say his shooting may have been connected to his witnessing the 2008 murder of Shawn Michael Porter. The suspect in that case was found not guilty.


Sources: Charleston Police Department, Ninth Circuit Solicitor's Office, Charleston County Court Records
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