Three of four men who investigators say were involved in a gun battle Saturday afternoon that killed an 8-year-old bystander are convicted felons.
Aaron Scott Young Sr., 36; Tyrone Robinson, 37; and Jontu Singleton, 35; each have served time in state prisons for convictions that make it a federal offense to own firearms.
The fourth man arrested and questioned in the death of Hilton Head Island Elementary School third-grader Khalil Singleton is Young Sr.'s son, Aaron Scott Young Jr., 19, who has a previous misdemeanor conviction.
Authorities say the Youngs and Robinson have been feuding and that a series of confrontations throughout the day culminated in an exchange of gunfire at about 5 p.m. Saturday on Allen Road. A bullet struck and killed Khalil, who was playing outside of the house where he lived with his grandmother.
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None of the four men has yet been charged in Khalil's death. Sgt. Robin McIntosh of the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office said Tuesday that forensics testing by the S.C. Law Enforcement Division is under way.
McIntosh said investigators are trying to determine what started the feud, which likely involved "multiple incidents."
Fourteenth Circuit Solicitor Duffie Stone declined comment, saying judicial rules only allow him to release defendants' criminal histories in open court.
The evidence against the men will be presented in October to a grand jury, which will decide whether to indict them.
Young Sr. and Young Jr. have been charged with one count each of discharging a firearm into a vehicle, after they allegedly shot at Robinson's unoccupied car parked on Allen Road.
Robinson was charged with pointing a firearm in connection with an earlier struggle with Young Jr., in which Robinson allegedly brandished a handgun. He also is charged in an unrelated crime, the second-degree burglary of Top Dollar Pawn on Mathews Drive on Aug. 19.
Singleton is also charged with the burglary of Top Dollar Pawn. He also had been sought on two bench warrants. It is unclear what the warrants were for.
S.C. State Law Enforcement Division records indicate Scott Sr., Robinson and Singleton had many run-ins with the law prior to their arrests Saturday.
Robinson's arrest Saturday marked his first brush with the law since he was released from prison by the state Department of Corrections on April 30, 2010. He had served eight years of a 15-year sentence.
Robinson was convicted in 2003 of leading a Highway Patrol trooper on a morning rush-hour chase in a stolen vehicle through greater Bluffton the previous year. A trooper shot him in the hand while attempting to get him to slow down; he received the maximum sentence of 15 years.
At the time of his arrest for that chase on Nov. 14, 2002, Robinson was wanted in connection with at least 10 crimes and was already a convicted felon.
He had been released from prison three months earlier -- in August 2002 -- after serving a six-year sentence for third-degree burglary, petit larceny, hit and run, and three counts of grand larceny, according to SLED records.
He had been convicted of those crimes in June 1996, as a youthful, nonviolent offender, and sentenced to one to six years. Youthful nonviolent offenders can be released from prison for a year, remain on probation another year and, if they maintain good behavior, can go free after that, according to the Department of Corrections.
But Robinson served the full six years because he violated parole three times, according to records.
He also served 29 days in April 1996 for discharging a weapon in a building. His first conviction was the previous April, when he was arrested for disorderly conduct and fined $152. Later that same year, he was convicted of assault and battery and malicious injury to property and fined $2,115.
Robinson has been arrested 27 times since 1994, according to the Beaufort County Detention Center log. Most of those charges, according to the SLED report, were dropped.
Jontu Singleton, who also lives on Allen Road, where Khalil was killed, was released from state prison Feb. 1, 2012, after serving a little more than a year for high and aggravated assault and battery, SLED records show.McIntosh said she doesn't know if Jontu Singleton was related to Khalil Singleton.
Singleton also was in Department of Corrections custody off and on between November 1999 and September 2005, after convictions for high and aggravated assault and battery, unlawful use of a telephone, and first-degree burglary. While serving concurrent sentences for those crimes, Singleton twice was released only to return to prison for probation violations, SLED reports.
Singleton's first conviction was on July 2, 1994, when he received one year in prison for having a firearm in a public building. That sentence later was suspended, and he was placed on two years of probation, according to the report.
He violated that probation and returned to prison in February 1997 after spending several months in the county jail for separate convictions for malicious injury to property, and possessing alcohol under 21 while resisting arrest. His sentence on those convictions expired July 1, 1997, according to the Corrections Department.
He has served time in the county jail for driving under suspension multiple times, malicious injury to property and shoplifting.
Singleton has been arrested 29 times, according to the jail log. When he was arrested Saturday for the Top Dollar Pawn burglary, he was wanted on two other bench warrants, according to the jail log.
AARON SCOTT YOUNG SR.
Young Sr.'s first felony conviction was for possession of less than one gram of crack cocaine. He was imprisoned from Nov. 7, 2002, to Feb. 4, 2004, according to the Corrections Department.
He previously had been convicted of criminal domestic violence, serving time in 1996. Last year, he served 407 days for possession of cocaine, SLED records indicate.
Most of Young Sr.'s brushes with the law involve traffic violations, including speeding and driving under suspension. He also is a repeat probation and parole violator, according to the county jail log.
AARON SCOTT YOUNG JR.
Young Jr. was arrested twice before Saturday: for trespassing in January 2011, and for disrupting schools and causing malicious injury to property in February 2011, according to the jail log.
He was convicted of disrupting schools, a misdemeanor, and paid a $55 fine. SLED records indicate he also served time for that offense, but do not say when or how long.
- Students at Hilton Head Elementary return to school following shooting death of classmate, Sept. 3, 2012
- Four in custody following shooting death of Hilton Head 8-year-old, Sept. 2, 2012
- Eight-year-old boy shot to death in Hilton Head Island crossfire, Sept. 1, 2012
- Man given maximum sentence for car chase, May 14, 2003
- Chase wasn't first brush with the law, Nov. 16, 2002