Crime

April 9, 2014

Judge advances cases against some alleged Rock Hill gang members

A judge has ruled prosecutors can move forward with cases involving four of 13 people Rock Hill police arrested in January following a multi-agency investigation into a local “gang feud.”

A judge has ruled prosecutors can move forward with cases involving four of 13 people Rock Hill police arrested in January following a multi-agency investigation into a local “gang feud.”

But the judge also decided Tuesday that there was not sufficient evidence against three others accused of crimes police say were gang-related, according to court records.

In arrest warrants, police allege that many of the crimes the 13 are charged with involved a “gang feud” between gangs identified as 715 FAM and 901 KOB. The arrests came after an investigation conducted by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the FBI and local police.

Since the arrests, family members and others attending community meetings have accused police of overzealous targeting of young black defendants and overstating the gang problem in Rock Hill.

In preliminary hearings Tuesday, according to court records and prosecutors, a magistrate found prosecutors had presented enough evidence to pursue indictments against:

• Wali Rhinehart, 21, on attempted murder, conspiracy and weapons charges from a November shooting into a home on Rock Hill’s Walnut Street. The judge found no probable cause against Rhinehart in an alleged carjacking in January.
• Marquelle Erby, 18, on four counts of attempted murder and three weapons charges from a shooting incident on Pebble Road in December. One of the victims in that shooting, Abdul Emmanuel, 19, an alleged 715 FAM gang member, faces murder, attempted murder, conspiracy and weapons charges in other incidents from late 2013 through January.
• Marquiese Wright, 17, on charges of attempted murder and weapons violations from an October shooting that happened “during a gang feud,” arrest warrants allege.
• Rashawn Sibley, 19, accused of criminal sexual conduct with a minor.

The judge did not find probable cause in cases against:

• Cierra Hope, 18, on attempted murder and conspiracy charges.
• Dimitri Oden, 18, on carjacking and conspiracy charges.
• Benjamin Shannon, 23, on seven weapons charges.

The judge dismissed the charges against Hope, Oden and Shannon, court records show, but prosecutors still can take their cases to a grand jury to pursue indictments.

Others alleged to have ties to gangs who were charged in January are scheduled for probable cause hearings next week.

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