2 men to stand trial in shooting of transgender woman

Oralandar Brand-Williams
The Detroit News

Two men were ordered Wednesday to stand trial in connection with the robbery and shooting of a transgender woman last month.

Charles Marion Brown, 21, and Jujuan Alexon Williams, 19, are charged with assault with intent to murder and other offenses in the shooting of the transgender woman on Nov. 17 on Woodward Avenue near Seven Mile on Detroit’s west side.

Jujuan Alexon Williams, left, and Charles Marion Brown appear at a preliminary hearing Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017, in 36th District Court on charges of shooting a transgender woman during a robbery.

Brown and Williams allegedly attacked the woman in the 17800 block of Woodward around 1:50 a.m. Brown is allegedly the man seen in a video pointing a rifle at the victim after he and Williams exited a red GMC Yukon.

Released from a local hospital to testify, Sharita Maxwell, the victim, was wheeled into the courtroom to give her testimony about the incident. She said she was on Woodward in the overnight hours Nov. 17 working as a prostitute when two young men pulled up to her in a red SUV.

She said the she was told, “Don’t run ... drop your (expletive)” before she was shot several times, including three times in the back.

“I was screaming and hollering,” said Maxwell as she testified Wednesday before Judge Deborah Lewis Langston of 36th District Court. “I’m screaming to my girlfriend. I’m paralyzed. I cannot move my legs.”

The victim said she is not “fully” able to walk yet.

Maxwell said Brown shot her. Williams allegedly picked up her purse, which was taken with a few contents and a small amount of cash. She said her attackers had on masks that they pulled down.

Sharita Maxwell testifies about being robbed and shot last month on Detroit’s west side during a preliminary hearing Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017 in 36th District Court.

A Detroit police officer who gave chase to the men’s vehicle, which belonged to the mom of Brown’s girlfriend, testified that the SUV was located and stopped before Williams was apprehended.

The rifle believed to have been used in the incident was also recovered. Williams implicated Brown, who allegedly ran from the scene.

Brown was picked up the next day.

A videotape of the robbery was shown during the preliminary examination showing two men got out of a red-colored Yukon and rob Maxwell while one is seen fired shots at her with a long weapon. Five gunshots were fired at the woman, according to testimony.

Williams told police during questioning that Brown told him that he wanted to go on Woodward and rob a transgender woman, telling him to grab the woman’s purse when they jumped out of the vehicle. Brown told police in a separate police interview that he did not shoot Maxwell.

Both Brown and Williams are being held on $1.5 million cash bond. Langston continued the bond despite a request by Williams’ attorney Charles Longstreet II to lower it. Both suspects have a prior criminal record, said Jaimie Powell Horowitz, a special prosecutor with the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office.

Williams and Brown are set for an arraignment on information Dec. 20.