Man Accused of Killing Half Brother Going to Trial

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – A teenager charged with the December 2012 killing of his half-brother, an army reservist, is heading to trial.

Eighteen-year-old Royale Runyon is charged with open murder and possession of felony firearms.  Police say he shot and killed 20-year-old Madhi Hayes in an alley near Warden Street and Henry Street in Grand Rapids late last December.

Getting people to testify in this case hasn’t been easy, police say, and a number of witnesses have been reluctant to come forward with information.

In a court hearing on Tuesday, witness Ron Fleming was called back to the stand to testify after not being truthful in his initial testimony.

He told Assistant Kent County Prosecutor Kelle Knocki that he lied because of threats on his life and claiming Runyon was his friend.

Fleming testified that Runyon called him the night of the shooting saying that he had “got his brother” and that he was dead.  He said he went out to find Runyon, and discovered him with a gun.

That is the same gun that prosecutors say they have traced back to Runyon for another murder, an armed robbery and this crime.

“There is zero evidence of a shoot-out, only evidence that one shot was fired.  One shell casing was found and one projectile was found in the back of his brother’s head,” Knocki said.

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