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Man shot in leg has long history of criminal charges

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - A Charleston man who was wounded in a shooting on the city's West Side over the weekend has a long history of arrests.

Andre Williamson, also known as "A3" and "Andrew Miller," will be led out of Charleston Area Medical Center's General Hospital in handcuffs after he recovers. He was shot in the leg early Saturday outside a restaurant along Washington Street West in a hail of gunfire.

Police are familiar with Williamson. He was the suspect in the 2005 death of Jody Gray, who was found shot to death in his Washington Manor home.

Two years later, Williamson was convicted in the shooting of Antonio Valentine.

Valentine, who was 20 at the time of the shooting, suffered a fractured femur when he was shot at the corner of McCormick and Joseph streets, but survived. Williamson was convicted on counts of wanton endangerment and unlawful wounding.

He now faces a felony charge in the death of David Booker, who was found shot to death in October in the East End.

Williamson was standing in front of Seoul of Charleston restaurant Saturday about 3:40 a.m. when one of several bullets fired at him struck him in the leg. Bystander Cierra Leftwich, 22, of Charleston, also was wounded in the leg.

Dozens of shots were fired from at least three different caliber handguns, said Lt. Steve Cooper, chief of detectives.

Williamson, 25, and Leftwich went to Charleston Area Medical Center's General Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Both remained in the hospital Sunday evening. No other injuries were reported.

"Fortunately no one was critically injured or killed by this reckless act by these thugs," Cooper said. "There's some property damage in the area, but fortunately not as much as we suspected with that many bullets being fired."  

As of Sunday, no arrests had been made in the shooting. Cooper said detectives had not yet determined a motive.

Authorities suspect Williamson was the target, Cooper said. It isn't clear if he shot back.

Cooper said Williamson would be charged with accessory after the fact to voluntary manslaughter in Booker's death. Williamson also faces two robbery charges from an unrelated incident.

Williamson has a long history with police.

Neighbors found the 29-year-old Gray dead in his apartment after noticing his vehicle running in front of his apartment. Detectives arrested Williamson a few months later, charging him with first-degree murder.

A grand jury indicted Williamson on the charge, but it was dropped by the prosecutor's office, which cited insufficient evidence. That case remains unsolved.

But Williamson would find himself in trouble again a short time later. He was arrested in March 2007 after an officer performing a traffic stop found a .45-caliber handgun tucked in Williamson's waistband and determined he did not have a concealed carry permit.

Police found themselves with Williamson again a month later in April 2007, arresting him for shooting Valentine in the leg. Prosecutors played the recorded phone calls between Williamson and a friend, where the accused asked a friend to visit a witness in the case and convince him not to testify.

Williamson was found guilty and served prison time for the offense.

He has since been released and was in the vehicle with Richard Hilliard, 24, the October night David Booker was killed. Hilliard, who turned himself in to officers, pleaded guilty to manslaughter last week and told Kanawha Circuit Judge Duke Bloom that he and Williamson were leaving the East End headed across town to the West Side when Booker asked for a ride.

Booker asked to go to Milton Street but Hilliard, who was driving, made a detour when he saw a number of police cars. It was then, he said, Booker put the gun to Williamson's head.

"I reacted and shot him," Hilliard told the judge according to Daily Mail archives.

Booker was found dead in the 1200 block of Milton Street with two shots to the head. Hilliard told authorities Williamson disposed of the shell casings and gave him a towel with bleach to clean up the car.

Anyone with information on Saturday's shooting can contact the Criminal Investigation Division at 304-348-6480.

Contact writer Ashley B. Craig at ashley.craig@dailymail.com or 304-348-4850.


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