Friends celebrate Marley Lion's birthday by painting Folly boat

Lion was gunned down last summer in West Ashley.
Lion was gunned down last summer in West Ashley.

JAMES ISLAND, SC (WCSC) - Friends of Marley Lion met at the famous Folly Beach boat Thursday night to remember their friend one day after what would have been his 19th birthday.

Lion's closest friends painted the boat to honor the teen, who was murdered in the early-morning hours of June 16 last year. Lion would have turned 19 years old Wednesday.

"This is just kind of to remember all of the happy times and all," said Emily Gossen, a friend of Lion's. "We got as many out here as we could, and we felt like we needed some sort of recognition of the year after and how much everybody misses him and loves him."

The boat, which motorists pass on Folly Road while making their way out to Folly Beach, is Lowcountry tradition. It is often painted as a way to honor a fallen loved one, celebrate an occasion, or support a cause.

Lion was shot and killed while he was sleeping in his car in the Famous Joe's parking lot on Savannah Highway around 4 a.m..

Ryan Deleston, 30, Julius Brown, 32, and Bryan Rivers, 27, were all charged in connection with the murder.  The case has yet to go to trial.

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