Raekwon Tariq Graham, 18, of Troy, N.C., will be held without the possibility of bond after being charged with six counts of attempted murder in connection with a shooting on Ocean Boulevard last month.
Police already have charged the alleged shooter, Derias J’Shaun Little, 17, of Mt. Gilead, N.C., with seven counts of attempted murder. The shooting sent six people to the hospital and was streamed live on Facebook as it happened, a public relations nightmare in Myrtle Beach’s main entertainment district that has now been viewed millions of times.
Graham said in a hearing that he was hoping to get out of jail to finish his college studies.
But Judge J. Scott Long said that Graham could be a flight risk, and said he had several pending criminal charges in Richland County. In court, Long said those charges include sex/assault with intent to commit criminal sexual conduct, burglary, assault and battery and malicious injury to animal, person or property.
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On Friday morning, police revealed for the first time that they were planning to charge defendants other than Little. Three other suspects, 18-year-old Keshawn Steele; 19-year-old Tyron Steele of Mount Gilead; and 18-year-old Jarvez Graham of Troy are being held in jail in North Carolina as they await extradition. Police have not detailed how they will be charged; however, a news release from the Montgomery County (N.C.) Sheriff’s Office stated they were wanted for six counts of attempted murder.
Lt. Joey Crosby of Myrtle Beach police said Friday he did not know if any of the suspects are family members.
An affidavit filed by police said that Little, Raekwon Graham and Keshawn Steele worked “in concert” as the shooting unfolded.
The document says that shortly after midnight on June 18, Little, Keshawn Steele and Raekwon Graham attacked a man as a crowd formed around their car on Ocean Boulevard near 4th Avenue North. As the man attempted to escape, Little shot into the surrounding crowd, struck six people and grazed a nearby security guard with gunfire, the affidavit said.
The document claims that Raekwon Graham acted with Little and Keshawn Steele “in concert to attempt to kill others with intent and malice aforethought.”
Little was denied bond earlier this week for the seven charges of attempted murder. He also faces a carjacking charge.
But Raekwon Graham, who is not accused of actually shooting into the crowd, will face only one charge fewer of attempted murder. Each of his six counts carries a maximum of 30 years in prison.
Criminal defense attorney Tommy Brittain said that the charges are probably based on a legal principle where “the hand of one is the hand of all” — someone working in concert with a person who commits a crime can be charged with the exact same offense, he said.
“As crazy as it sounds, there probably is some legitimacy to these charges,” Brittain said. “I think it’ll get through a grand jury. I don’t know if it will get past a judge.”
As the case advances, Brittain said, convicting on all the charges could be more difficult — prosecutors will have to deal with questions like whether Raekwon Graham knew Little had a gun and if he suspected Little might use it.