UPDATE: Police arrest 24-year-old following shooting death of FAMU grad student

Precious Charlton was arrested Saturday on felony murder and drug charges.
Precious Charlton was arrested Saturday on felony murder and drug charges.(WCTV)
Published: Jan. 31, 2022 at 9:54 AM EST|Updated: Jan. 31, 2022 at 12:25 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - A Tallahassee woman was arrested Saturday in connection with the shooting death of a Florida A&M graduate student last week.

According to court documents, 24-year-old Precious Charlton was charged with one count of third-degree felony murder and drug possession with intent to sell.

On Wednesday, Jan. 26, Charlton drove to the Providence Pointe Apartment complex to sell marijuana after picking up the victim, MaKayla Bryant, from work at the Governor’s Square Mall, the arrest affidavit says.

Charlton told police she and Bryant were in a romantic relationship and had been for the last two and a half years, the court document says.

Charlton and Bryant drove to 1242 Stuckey Ave. and parked in front of the complex’s eastern building around 4:40 p.m. that day, the affidavit says. After a short time, two men meeting Charlton for the drug deal came out of the building, the affidavit says.

Charlton then showed one of the suspects a half-full Ziploc bag of marijuana, and the suspect said it did not look like a quarter-pound, the court document states.

“During this transaction she and Bryant both had handguns in their laps that were visible to the suspect,” the affidavit states. “Charlton glanced down at her phone and then heard the suspect say ‘This is how this fixin’ to go’ and heard a commotion. She looked over and saw the suspect’s arms in the window wrestling with Bryant.”

Charlton started to drive away, and a gunshot went off, the affidavit says. While driving away, Bryant told her she had been shot in the stomach, according to the court document.

Charlton called 911 while driving to the hospital. She took Bryant to Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare’s emergency room at 7th Ave. and Magnolia Drive, the affidavit says.

Charlton spoke to police and provided descriptions of the suspects. She said the first suspect was a black man, about 24 to 25 years old, who had a gold mouth grill, short wicks in his hair and a black graphic T-shirt. The second suspect was also a younger black man, about 18 to 19 years old, with a baby face wearing a grey jogging suit and a beanie, the affidavit says.

Police showed Charlton a photo lineup after speaking to a witness at the apartments and taking video from there to identify the suspect vehicles, the affidavit says. Charlton was not able to identify a suspect in that lineup.

“The decision was made to release Charlton at this time due to her being the only witness in this case and being able to positively identify suspects at a future time,” the affidavit says. “Charlton was advised the State Attorney’s office would be consulted to reference future charges in this case.”

Police searched the vehicle Charlton was driving, which belonged to Bryant, and found a little under 2.5 pounds of marijuana, according to the affidavit. The car was seized as evidence, and police executed a search warrant on Charlton’s phone as well, the court document says.

On Saturday, Jan. 29, police again met with Charlton and showed her a photo lineup. Charlton identified the suspect who was with the shooter that she described to police as having a baby face and wearing a beanie, the affidavit says.

Charlton again recounted the details of the events with the police. She told them she had a bad feeling about the deal and felt the suspect wasn’t going to buy the marijuana, the affidavit says.

Charlton said she originally thought the suspect grabbed the gun on Bryant’s lap and they were wrestling for it, the court document states. At the hospital, Charlton noticed a gun on the passenger floorboard that had stickers on it.

“Charlton stated she realized that it was the suspect’s firearm they were wrestling over and not Bryant’s,” the affidavit says.

Charlton was then arrested and taken to the Leon County Jail.

Friends and family gathered on FAMU’s campus Saturday to honor Bryant at a vigil.

Bond was set at $50,000 for Charlton in a Sunday court appearance. At last check, she was still located inside the Leon County Jail.

TPD says it has no more information to release at this time, but there could be more arrests in this case down the line.

Copyright 2022 WCTV. All rights reserved.