Casty St. Louis had been in custody at the Wake County jail since Aug. 23, after police charged him with felony possession with intent to sell and deliver cocaine.
St. Louis, 20, of Raleigh, went to court Friday. He was convicted of the offense, sentenced to two years probation and given credit for the days he spent in jail awaiting his court hearing.
St. Louis was released from custody at 4:15 p.m. Friday, a Wake County jail spokesman said. Just over four hours later, St. Louis was shot to death about 8:20 p.m., near a playground filled with children in the 6300 block of Shadowland Crossing in Raleigh.
Witnesses say St. Louis had been visiting his girlfriend at the River Birch at Town Center apartments near Old Wake Forest Road.
A black Jeep with a woman and two men sped through the neighborhood, and one of the men shot St. Louis twice in the stomach and once in the arm, police said.
Over the weekend, police charged Darius Lamont Watkins, 19, with murder in connection with the shooting. He made his first court appearance Monday afternoon.
Wake County District Court Judge Keith Gregory told Watkins he could face the death penalty or life in prison without the possibility of parole if he is convicted of first-degree murder.
Investigators accused Watkins of targeting St. Louis last month.
Arrest warrants made public this week show that police think Watkins and Adrian Lamar Oden, 22, of the 600 block of Sunnybrook Road in Raleigh, robbed St. Louis on Aug. 2, taking $800 worth of cash and marijuana. Police charged both men with robbery with a dangerous weapon.
Gregory said Watkins could spend up to 17 years in prison if convicted of that crime.
Watkins’ encounters with the law as an adult began in 2010, when he was convicted of going armed to the terror of the public. A year later, he was convicted of multiple counts of felony breaking and entering into motor vehicles, state records show.
In 2012, Watkins was convicted of a felony probation violation, and one felony count each of burglary and breaking and entering.
Watkins had been ordered by a judge to not be in possession of illegal drugs, to stay away from places that served alcohol, to undergo counseling, to abide by a curfew, to submit to drug testing and to refrain from assaulting, threatening or harming anyone, state records show.
Watkins is being held without bail at the Wake County Detention Center. Oden is being held on a $500,000 bond.
News researcher Peggy Neal contributed to this report.