Despite a guilty plea, little has been made known concerning one defendant’s role in the March shooting death of 17-year-old Hikeem King in Danville.
Initially, Germany Bryontez Carter, 23, was indicted as an accessory after the fact in the teenager’s death. But the charge was dropped in Danville Circuit Court on Tuesday as Carter instead pleaded guilty to two counts of a nonviolent felon in possession of a firearm and two other firearms-related charges.
Even with the guilty plea, however, much of the discussion between Judge James Reynolds and the prosecution and defense attorneys centered around Carter’s understanding of the charges against him and the repercussions of a guilty plea. Nothing was said about his role in the shooting.
The prosecution’s summary of evidence, obtained by the Danville Register & Bee, noted Carter was one of the passengers in the car driven by girlfriend Ladreka Shawnta Burton, 34, along Arnett Boulevard on March 10.
Burton has since pleaded guilty to the charge of accessory after homicide. The two other passengers, Justin Montel Jones and Antonio Lamonta Burton, both 21, were charged with shooting King. Burton has since pleaded guilty to an amended charge of second-degree murder, and Jones has a trial set for Nov. 7 on a charge of first-degree murder.
“While traveling up Arnett, Jones said ‘there go Keem.’ Then Jones told Brandon to stop the car,” according to the summary of evidence. “When Brandon stopped the car, Jones got out of the passenger side rear seat and began to fire a handgun.”
Burton, sitting in the driver’s side rear seat, opened his door, leaned out and opened fire, too. In all, between 10 to 15 shots were fired in King’s direction, police initially reported.
They had spotted King as he was walking from his parked car to his brother’s car. He was shot once in the face and died on the spot, according to the summary of evidence.
Brandon, upon hearing the gunshots, started to drive off. “However, she stopped the car, when Carter told her to, for Jones to get back into the car and then she drove all of them down to Greensboro [North Carolina],” according to the statement of facts.
Defense attorney Elizabeth Hurt, when contacted after the hearing, said “There was no evidence to suggest that he took any actions in relation to the homicide.”
A criminal complaint filed in Danville Circuit Court notes that Carter was captured on surveillance video buying ammunition at a sporting goods store in the city the day before the shooting. The day after the shooting, police discovered ammunition on Carter during a traffic stop, according to another criminal complaint.
“During the pat down of the accused I felt what I recognized to be a magazine to a gun. The magazine was to a Glock 9 mm pistol and contained 9 mm ammunition,” officer W.C. Shively wrote. “Also in the front seat a 9 mm Glock pistol was found.”
Of the question of Carter being armed, the prosecution’s summary of evidence notes: “Additionally, they told the police that Carter ... [was] also armed with weapons that day.”
The prosecution’s summary of evidence does note Carter has a previous conviction for making a false statement on a firearms transaction in 2018.
Carter is slated to be sentenced in court Oct. 29.
Avent is a reporter with the Danville Register & Bee. Reach him at (434) 797-7983.