1 charged with murder in Musk Hts teen’s death

An undated courtesy photo of Marquis Gresham.

MUSKEGON, Mich. (WOOD) — A Muskegon man was charged Wednesday with the murder of a 17-year-old Muskegon Heights basketball player.

Shundarius Lawson, 20, was arraigned Wednesday with one count of open murder. His bond was set at $1 million.

Shundarius Lawson. (April 2014)
(Shundarius Lawson.)

He is accused in the April 23 homicide of Marquis Gresham, who was shot as he walked along Rotterdam Avenue near Fifth Street in Muskegon Heights. Gresham, a junior who played center on the basketball team, was headed to his end-of-season basketball banquet.

Lawson was among two Muskegon men taken into police custody the day after Gresham’s death.

During a probable cause hearing Tuesday, a Muskegon Heights police detective testified that Lawson admitted to police he was a passenger in the 1997 Ford Expedition involved in the shooting. The detective testified that Lawson claimed the driver was the shooter and that he was in the backseat.

The detective testified the driver of the vehicle denied that, saying Lawson could not have been in the backseat because there was a car seat there. Police found the car seat where the driver said it would be, confirming Lawson had lied, the detective testified.

Other people also told investigators the passenger was the shooter, the detective testified.

The open murder charge was authorized by prosecutors Tuesday.

Michigan State Police records show Lawson has a criminal history that includes pleading guilty in October 2012 to misdemeanor assaulting, resisting or obstructing a police officer; as well as pleading guilty in June 2013 to felony fleeing a police officer and misdemeanor failure to stop at the scene of a property damage accident.

Because of the felony conviction, he is being charged as a second-offense habitual offender.

Ryheim Beasley. (April 2014)
(Ryheim Beasley.)

Monday, Ryheim Beasley was charged with felony lying to police during their investigation into Gresham’s death, according to Muskegon County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Tim Maat said.

Beasley, 19, was taken to the Ottawa County Jail on $50,000 bond so he would not have contact with anyone involved in the homicide, Maat said. If convicted of the lying charge, he faces four years in prison.

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