2nd of 3 Murder Suspects Arrested Yesterday

Malik Atonio Wayne Copeland

A second of three suspects named in an April 4th murder in Clinton is now behind bars.  Clinton Police yesterday arrested 20-year-old Malik Atonio Wayne Copeland of Lillian Lane, Clinton and charged him with Murder, Possession of a Weapon during a Violent Crime and Aggravated Breach of Peace. Malik “Kidd Gee” Copeland is accused of causing the death of Freddie Markell Byrd early in the morning of Saturday, April 4th by voluntarily engaging in mutual combat while armed with a firearm. This mutual combat is stated as the direct cause of the victim’s death by gunshot. Copeland is accused of discharging a firearm at a residence within the 100 block of Neighborhood Drive while the location was occupied by multiple people, this during a social gathering April 4th.

Freddie Byrd was found with gunshot injury around 2 o’clock that Saturday morning.

Malik Atonio Wayne Copeland remained in the Johnson Detention Center this morning with bond denied on all three charges.

Also held without bond in connection with the death of Freddie Byrd is Khalid Asiatic Cunningham of Clinton, who was arrested by Clinton Police Monday, April 13th and charged with Aggravated Breach of Peace.

Clinton Police are still looking for a third announced suspect in Mr. Byrd’s fatal shooting. Police say Detravious Samon Cheeks, also of Clinton, should be considered armed and dangerous. Should anyone observe him, do not approach, but notify police. This can be with a \call to 911 or by calling Captain Tyrone Goggins of Clinton Police at (864) 833-7512. Reports may also be made anonymously by calling Laurens County Crimestoppers at 68-CRIME.