Judge ups suspect's bond to $700,000 amid mounting evidence in Holsey shooting death

Judge ups suspect's bond to $700,000 amid mounting evidence in Holsey shooting death

June 30th, 2015 by Kendi A. Rainwater in Local Regional News

Briston Smith Jr.

Briston Smith Jr.

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

Charles Holsey, 19, was shot to death on March 2 at 310 Sylvan Drive.

Charles Holsey, 19, was shot to death on...

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

Briston Smith Jr.'s bond was increased on Tuesday, as Judge Gary Starnes believes there is a strong likelihood that the 18-year-old will be convicted of murder in the shooting death of Charles Holsey, 19.

Police believe Holsey's March 2 death was the result of a drug deal gone wrong, and that Smith was one of three teens involved in the shooting that took place behind a gas station at 310 Sylvan St. in North Chattanooga.

Smith's bond was increased from $200,000 to $700,000 Tuesday in General Sessions Court, and Smith remains in the Hamilton County Jail on charges of felony first-degree murder, conspiracy and attempted especially aggravated robbery.

Police used a fingerprint to connect Smith to the shooting, and he was arrested three days after Holsey was shot once in the back.  

Holsey's girlfriend was with him the night of the shooting and told police that Holsey went to North Chattanooga to sell drugs to a man called "BJ" whom he knew from his time attending Berry College in Georgia.  Investigators in the case say Smith  often goes by the nickname "BJ."

Holsey's girlfriend told investigators that when they arrived at the gas station two men whom she did not know got into the car and tried to steal the drugs from Holsey. She said Holsey fought with one of the men, and that during the fight Smith told the other man to "shoot him," and then she heard two gunshots, according to the affidavit.

Holsey drove away from the scene but crashed his vehicle a few minutes later at 700 N. Market St and was taken to Erlanger hospital, where he died.

Smith previously admitted to investigators that he was driven to the scene by Robert Thompson, 18, who is also charged in the murder, with plans to rob Holsey.

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