North Charleston mother forgives man accused of killing her son
BY ANDREW KNAPP and CHRISTINA ELMORE
Pauline Harrison looked at the man on the television in front of her Friday, and she forgave the person accused of killing her son on her birthday.
“(Each year, I) can’t even celebrate my birthday because you took my child’s life on my birthday,” Harrison said. “And I forgive you. My only son, and I forgive you.”
The scene played out during a bond hearing for Jalann Lee Williams, 20, of Stall Road in North Charleston, and Robert Mitchell II, 33, of Yeamans Hall Road in Hanahan.
Both face murder charges in the Wednesday shooting death of 21-year-old Akeem Jamal Ladson of Angel Court in North Charleston. Williams, who the North Charleston Police Department has named as the shooter, faces an additional count of using a firearm.
The men have felony pasts, and Williams was awaiting trial on an attempted murder charge. Police said both have acknowledged roles in the slaying.
Arrest affidavits stated that Ladson went to a mobile home park at 6852 Ward Ave. to sell marijuana to the two men before 6 p.m. Wednesday.
Before the meeting, a witness told police, Mitchell asked Williams whether they should “jack him,” according to the documents.
“Yeah, if he has money,” Williams said, according to the affidavits.
The three met inside a Ford Expedition, which was being driven by a woman, police said. The men struggled with Ladson to get the marijuana without paying for it, the affidavits stated.
Williams told detectives during a later interview that he then fired two shots from a handgun, both of which hit Ladson. The account differs from a resident elsewhere in the mobile home park, who reported hearing only one shot.
The Ford then crashed into that resident’s home.
After the resident called 911, he passed the cellphone to the driver, who identified herself as Ladson’s girlfriend.
“I was in the car, and they started shooting,” she told the dispatcher, according to a recording of the 911 call obtained Friday. “I don’t know who they are. ... My boyfriend is dead.”
The witness reported seeing the men running. Williams was carrying a firearm, the witness told the police.
“We bucked,” the men told the witness, according to the documents, “and all you need to know is we got the weed.”
But in a phone conversation that the witness overhead later in the evening, Mitchell said, “We shot ’keem,” according to the affidavits.
Experts found fingerprints in the Ford, one of which matched Williams, the affidavits stated.
When they arrested Williams on Thursday at a Relax Inn on Ashley Phosphate Road, North Charleston police officers found him with three bags containing more than 2 ounces of marijuana.
During the hearing Friday morning, he appeared on the TV next to Mitchell.
After she walked out of the courtroom, Harrison lamented that her son was taken away from her. But, she said, his spirit remains with her, and she harbors no ill will.
“Why hate them because of something that they did?” she said. “The 21 years that my child has been here — I cherish every day.”Reach Andrew Knapp at 937-5414 or twitter.com/offlede.