Teen murder suspect denies shooting pizza delivery driver

Stephawn Sherod Brown in bond court on Monday.
Stephawn Sherod Brown in bond court on Monday.
Maraleius Birdsong
Maraleius Birdsong
Stephawn Sherod Brown (Source: Dorchester Co. Detention Center)
Stephawn Sherod Brown (Source: Dorchester Co. Detention Center)

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - With tears running down her face, Stephawn Brown's sister poured her heart out to a family she's never met before.

"I cannot imagine the pain that your family is going through," she said, next to her brother illuminated on a court TV screen. "I want to apologize for any involvement my brother may have had with what happened that night because he was definitely not raised that way."

Her brother, 18-year-old Stephawn Sherod Brown, is the North Charleston Police Department's prime suspect in the murder of 20-year-old Maraleius Birdsong.

Bond for Brown's murder charge was denied, but it didn't stop the teenager from trying to clear his name.

"I would like to say to the family that I'm sorry for what happened to their son but I did not commit that crime," said Brown. "I did not commit the crime on your son."

But court records tell a different story.

On Friday, police say Brown was found hiding in the back of his mother's car close to the crime scene in the Appian Way apartment complex on Patriot Boulevard in Dorchester County.

Investigators say they found a cell phone in Brown's possession that was also used to place the $38 delivery order to Domino's Pizza, where Birdsong worked.

According to affidavits and incident reports provided, Birdsong was delivering pizza to an apartment on Patriot Drive around 8:12 p.m. on Friday for a person named "Tre." When Birdsong arrived, the resident of the home said that no order of food was placed but a person named "Tre" lived at another apartment.

Police say Birdsong then returned to his vehicle at which time he was shot one time in the head.

"Two families are devastated now," said Birdsong's mother Teresa Gardner.

Gardner said her son's death is because of a growing disconnect between parents and their children.

"We're just asking for every body's help," urged Gardner. "Pull together as a community like it used to be. Raise these kids get involved and know what your kids are doing so all these kids can live and have a future."

On Saturday, investigators say they searched Brown's home and found pizza from Domino's Pizza in the kitchen and Brown's bedroom dresser drawer. Brown was charged with murder, armed robbery and possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime.

A judge set bond for armed robbery at $200,000 and $100,000 on the possession of a firearm charge.

Birdsong died at MUSC on Saturday. Police are still trying to identify a second suspect who was seen fleeing the area after the shooting.

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