Accused murderer gains additional charges for 2011 ‘crime spree’

Accused murderer gains additional charges for 2011 ‘crime spree’
Photo provided by the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office.

POSTED: Friday, September 13, 2013 - 4:41pm

UPDATED: Friday, September 13, 2013 - 7:46pm

Two men are accused of a 2011 crime spree that resulted in death, injury, and countless additional victims who managed to escape unharmed. Both men were arrested the same day the crimes occurred and have remained in the parish prison ever since. However, investigators have linked them to two additional murders that occurred the day before the shooting rampage began.

“They went on a crime spree,” Cpl. L’Jean McKneely, Baton Rouge Police Department, explained. “It’s still under investigation and there’s a possibility they may have been involved in other crimes. They are being looked at for other incidents that occurred around that same time frame.”

On Thursday, Sept. 12, Melichi Corbin, 24, was issued two additional charges of first-degree murder by the Baton Rouge Police Department. Those came after a witness stepped forward and positively identified him as the person responsible for a double-homicide that happened on Saturday, Feb. 12, 2011.

BRPD was called to investigate the 2011 shooting at roughly 8:30 p.m. It happened in the 4100 block of Mohican-Prescott Crossover.

“Corbin shot and killed Brandon Watson and Calvin Ervin as they stood outside an apartment complex during an attempted robbery,” Cpl. McKneely explained. “The suspect drove up in a truck and attempted to rob them of their belongings, and then shot them.”

Investigators at the time were unable to identify a suspect in that case. However, witnesses described seeing two people exiting a black-colored pickup truck prior to the shooting.

“Once the shooting was over the suspects then fled in the pick up truck with personal property belonging to at least one victim, Brandon Watson,” an arrest report noted.

The following day at roughly 4:00 p.m., the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to investigate an armed robbery and shooting that happened in the 5700 block of Matthews Street.

“The victim advised that a black male subject had attempted to rob him and had fired five shots at him,” the arrest report noted. “The victim stated that while he was in the front yard of his residence a black, 1990’s model, single cab GM pickup truck stopped on the street. He then advised that the passenger exited the truck and approached him, showing a silver handgun in his waistband.”

The suspect, later identified as Corbin, demanded money, but the victim fought back and attempted to grab the gun. That’s when Corbin allegedly fired five shots at the victim as he ran away.

Corbin and the driver of the truck, later identified as Michael Lewis, got away before deputies arrived.

While investigators were on the scene of that case, the Baton Rouge Police Department was dispatched to another homicide investigation on St. Gerard Street. It happened at roughly 7:20 p.m.

"They shine the light and we see a little guy in my momma's yard by the corner by the trash can shot in the head," Tyrock Coleman told NBC33 back in 2011.

That victim was Christopher Williams, 14, was one of four young men who were shot at by Corbin. In the moments before he was shot, he and a friend had purchased candy from a neighbor.

Williams and a second victim, Jaquan East, 17, were rushed to the hospital. East survived, but Williams was pronounced dead a few days later.

Witnesses at the scene explained that two suspects, Corbin and Lewis, pulled up in a black or dark-colored GM pickup truck.

Less than two hours later, the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office responded to yet another shooting. The two victims in this case survived, and investigators would soon begin connecting the dots.

“One victim was outside of his residence on Dan Drive when two black males exited an older model black Chevrolet pickup truck and approached him,” the arrest report explained. “One of the suspects produced a gun and shot him in the leg.”

The victim managed to escape. He ran inside his home and one of the two men chased him. The second victim witnessed what happened and was allegedly shot by Corbin.

The black truck seemed to link all of the cases together, so law enforcement was on the lookout for a vehicle matching its description. Not long after the shooting on Dan Drive, an officer with the Baton Rouge Police Department spotted a possible match and attempted a traffic stop in the 5400 block of Airline Hwy.

“I initiated emergency lights and sirens,” the arrest report stated. “After a short chase the driver and passenger of the vehicle bailed out of the vehicle…I yelled ‘police, stop’ several times, but the defendant did not stop.”

When Corbin was captured and arrested, the officer found him in possession of roughly a quarter of a pound of marijuana.

Lewis managed to escape, but he was captured the following day.

Both men were booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison and have remained there since they were booked. Bond was set at $465,000 for Lewis.

Corbin’s bond, excluding the two additional charges for first-degree murder, was set at $827,000.

Cpl. McKneely did explain that Lewis is considered a primary suspect for the two murders on Mohican Prescott. However, he has not been formally charged for those crimes.

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