A 20-year-old Myrtle Beach man pleaded guilty Tuesday to being an accessory in the shooting death of a Coastal Carolina University student in May 2008.
Demario Stukes, the final remaining defendant charged in connection with the shooting death of Corey Brooks, pleaded guilty Tuesday to being an accessory after the fact of murder, 15th Circuit Senior Solicitor Donna Elder said.
Circuit Court Judge Benjamin Culbertson accepted the plea, but ordered Stukes to be evaluated during a period not to exceed 60 days before he is sentenced later this year. Stukes faces up to 15 years in prison on the charge.
Stukes was originally charged with murder in Brooks’ death, but prosecutors agreed to the plea after he testified against two other men charged in the incident, Elder said.
Brooks was shot to death May 25, 2008, outside a home on Third Avenue North in Myrtle Beach. A jury convicted 20-year-old Keion Griffin of murder and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime and a judge sentenced him to life in prison for the murder charge and five years in prison for the weapon charge.
Griffin maintained his innocence throughout the trial and said his co-defendant Stukes was the shooter in the incident.
Stukes testified for the prosecution during Griffin’s 2009 trial that Griffin had a gun and fired one shot into Brooks as he lay on the ground.
The incident began as Stukes, Griffin and 19-year-old Darius Priest, who was charged as a juvenile and is serving a juvenile sentence, walked from the Landmark Hotel toward their homes and saw a car with three girls inside trying to park outside the house, Stukes testified. Several men at the house told the girls they could not park there.
Stukes testified Griffin went up to the girls, whom the men knew, and told them they could park there, and some of the men, who were intoxicated, got upset. One of the men said he was calling the police, but Griffin slapped the man's cell phone from his hand and then pulled out a gun, Stukes said.
At that time, Stukes said he began fighting with another man, and Brooks came and jumped on his back to help his friend in the fight with Stukes. Griffin hit Brooks in the back of the head with the gun and knocked Brooks and Stukes to the ground, Stukes testified.
Priest testified that he brought a .22-caliber pistol to Ocean Boulevard the night Brooks was killed, but said he gave the gun to Stukes. Before the night was over, Griffin ended up with the gun and used it to shoot Brooks, he said.