Charleston’s police chief said four suspects have been arrested in the murder of a teen in mid-June. Chief Greg Mullen announced the charges in the murder of Marley Lion– the same day the teen would have celebrated his 18th birthday.
The case has gripped Charleston’s headlines the past few months, as Lion had just graduated from high school and only appeared to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Authorities said he was sleeping in his SUV outside the club on Savannah Highway when he was shot after a failed robbery attempt.
“This was a senseless act of violence that has touched our department and the community,” Mullen told reporters in a Tuesday press conference.
Although the crime was recorded by a security camera, police had trouble identifying the alleged killers. Mullen said investigators caught a break when they learned one of the suspects, 30-year-old Ryan Deleston, was trying to sell his weapon. Law enforcement agents eventually bought the gun on July 15. Mullen said a state lab confirmed the weapon was the same one that killed Lion.
Police moved in soon after that. Deleston was arrested as he stepped off a city bus Monday morning, Mullen said. 27-year-old Bryan Rivers and 32-year-old Julius Brown were also arrested and charged with murder and other counts. An affidavit said Rivers was with Deleston the night of the robbery, while Rivers provided a false alibi. Authorities also said 27-year-old George Brown is charged with accessory after the fact of murder.
Charleston Mayor Joe Riley said the arrests send a warning to would-be criminals. “Your crime might be in the darkest of the night with seemingly no one around, but we will catch you and go to jail.”