Crime

Defense says York man charged in SC/NC chase was a victim; prosecutors say he’s shooter

Defense lawyers for a York County man accused in a shooting and police chase claimed in court Wednesday that their client ran away from the scene because he was a crime victim.

Robert Lee Beverly, 31, has been jailed for 540 days since the April 2018 chase that involved dozens of police and ended with him being taken into custody in Gaston County. Another man had been shot at a home near Clover before Beverly fled in what prosecutors said was an attempt to avoid capture related to the shooting.

Beverly is charged with attempted murder, failure to stop for a blue light, possession of a weapon during a violent crime, and discharging a gun into a dwelling.

However, Beverly’s lawyer, Ben Hasty, said Wednesday in court that police acknowledged there were reports of a second shooter at the scene and Beverly was scared. Sharon Ohayon, 16th Circuit assistant solicitor, said in court the police incident report from the shooting scene clearly shows there may have been a second shooter.

Beverly did flee, but thought he was being pursued by others, Hasty said. Beverly surrendered after he found out that it was police who were chasing him, Hasty said after court.

At the time of Beverly’s arrest, he had a gunshot wound.

“At the time he flees he is running for his life,” Hasty said after court. “He was lucky to get away with his life.”

Hasty also claimed in court that police and prosecutors have not turned over all the police dashcam and body cam videos from the officers involved in the investigation and pursuit.

Ohayon denied in court that prosecutors have not turned over everything that prosecutors have been furnished by police. Ohayon also said she has given Beverly and his lawyers all the reports from four York County detectives and several other officers involved in the case.

Beverly is a convicted felon who was out on bond connected to unrelated charges at the time of the incident, court records show.

Hasty asked that Beverly be released on bond pending trial. Ohayon again opposed bond, as she had in previous hearings in August and April.

York County Circuit Court Judge Dan Hall denied bond, saying Beverly remained a potential danger to the public and a flight risk.

Hall set the case for trial the week of Dec. 16.

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