Two men whom prosecutors say are gang members, who both testified against a gang member convicted of murder in the 2014 death of a Chester councilman, have received probation after pleading guilty to reduced charges.
Chester City Councilman Odell Williams was killed Nov. 4, 2014, after a chase and shootout with five armed gang members who admitted they were attempting to rob a rival gang, prosecutors say.
Derrick Dixon, 21, and DeAngelo Roseboro, 22, both pleaded guilty this week to conspiracy to commit armed robbery.
They were sentenced as youthful offenders to probation, under plea agreements made between 6th Circuit Deputy Solicitor Candice Lively and their lawyers.
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Both men had faced accessory to murder charges.
Lively said in court Thursday in Chester, when Dixon pleaded guilty, that prosecutors still have concerns about the defendants being “gang members” and that the Williams case had “documented gang involvement.”
Lively said she wanted restrictions placed on Dixon that he must “stay out of any gang” as part of the sentencing.
Dixon’s lawyer, Nathan Sheldon of Rock Hill, said in court Thursday that Dixon admitted his role in an attempted armed robbery that led to the chase and killing of Williams.
Dixon admitted he was armed, but said had no part in Williams’ death, Sheldon said.
“Mr. Dixon was in the car, that’s it,” Sheldon said.
Dixon was shot while out on bond after his arrest in the Williams killing.
Dixon said little in court Thursday, when he pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit the armed robbery.
After two trials in 2016, accused shooter Christopher Moore of Chester, one of five charged in Williams’ death, was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison.
The first trial in April 2016 ended in a hung jury. Moore was convicted in a second trial in July 2016.
The killing of Williams shocked Chester and South Carolina, and became a national story because of Williams’ stature as an elected official.
Chester County Sheriff Alex Underwood declared war on gangs after the shooting. Gangs threatened the lives of police in the days after the killing, until deputies charged Moore and four others from the Roundtree Circle Gang in connection to the crime.
Court testimony from Dixon and Roseboro, on behalf of prosecutors in 2016 at Moore’s murder trial, showed they admitted that they plotted to rob a rival gang.
Williams was alerted to the armed men near his property by his wife, Lively said. He started the chase, and what Lively called the “shootout” ended with Moore lying in wait in a ditch and shooting Williams in the head as he drove by.
Quinton McClinton, another convicted felon and gang member whom prosecutors said was the ringleader of the 2014 armed robbery plot, pleaded guilty in 2106 to conspiracy and accessory after the fact to murder. McClinton is serving a five-year sentence.
Charges against the fifth defendant, Terrance Buchanan, who also testified for prosecutors, remain pending.