Three charged with murder in Columbia homicide investigation

Columbia Police have charged two men and one woman with 2nd-degree murder in an ongoing homicide investigation.

Three Columbia residents are facing second-degree murder charges after police linked them to a robbery that happened on West Texas Avenue Tuesday.

Columbia Police arrested Darrius Kendal Edwards, 22, of Columbia, Deshai Richardson, 23, of Columbia, and She'aun D. Prince, 22, of Columbia. Police say Edwards, Richardson, and 44 year-old Derrick Brookins allegedly tried to rob a man at gunpoint inside his West Texas Avenue apartment Tuesday.

Court documents say a struggle ensued and the target shot Brookins and Edwards. Brookins died of his injuries, but police say Edwards and Richardson left the apartment and drove off in a car.

Police discovered Edwards at the Women's and Children's Hospital after staff there told police that Edwards came to the emergency room with gunshot wounds to his body.

According to police, officers reviewed still photographs from the hospital's surveillance system and discovered that Edwards and Richardson entered the hospital together.

Police say Edwards initially denied that he was present at the robbery. They say he later changed his story and said that he was present during the robbery, but that he didn't commit the crime.

Richardson told police Wednesday that she was the one who took Edwards to the hospital.

Edwards, Richardson, and 22 year-old She'Aun Prince now face second-degree murder charges.

Police also found evidence of marijuana distribution at the apartment and say they smelled a strong odor of marijuana during their initial investigation.

The incident has left residents frustrated that drugs and violence have spilled into their neighborhood. "There isn't a safe place to live in Columbia," said Mary Alvarez. "My daughter stays around me 24 hours a day, seven days a week."

"It's sad," said next door neighbor Alyssa Gladhart. "It's gotten worse over the years in Columbia, but down the street it's sad because this street's full of kids and they're always outside and playing. It's sad because those kids could be in danger too."