ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Two Rochester men face murder charges in connection to a March investigation into a double homicide on State Street.

According to police documents, 24-year-old Marique Simkin and 32-year-old Henry Phelps are charged with murder in the second degree and criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree.

Both men were identified by investigators as suspects in the double murder of city resident Charles Robinson and Lonnie Keys on March 13.

Authorities at the time said officers responded to the 400 block of State Street around 2 a.m. for the report of multiple people shot. Once at the scene, they located a total of four people with gunshot wounds. Keys Jr. and Robinson were pronounced dead at the location while the remaining two victims survived.

One of the two who survived was Simkin. In the criminal complaints filed in the case, it is alleged that Simkin shot and killed Keys Jr., and Phelps shot and killed Robinson and shot Simkin.

Phelps was arrested Thursday and was found to be in possession of a loaded handgun.

Assistant District Attorney Christopher Bokelman said both suspects are facing pending gun charges unrelated to the homicide.

Simkin has been in custody ever since June 11 after being caught with a loaded weapon as well as several warrants for his arrest following multiple police pursuits through the city.

Officials believe both suspects may be charged with additional offenses once presented in court.

Lonnie Keys Jr.

Charles Robinson III

In a March interview with News 8, the fathers of both Charles and Lonnie said they did not expect to go through their life’s most difficult moment together.

The fathers at the time said their sons were at a gathering, but the two didn’t go together. In fact, they didn’t really know each other.  

“I’m still devastated over it. They were literally together, with no problems, until an individual walked in and changed it all,” Lonnie Keys said during an interview with News 8. 

“My son lost his life for no reason, just to go out for a drink,” he said in March.

News 8 caught up with his family again on Friday, after the arraignment.

“We’re all still the same, I mean, it’s tough,” he said. “I want to break down again, its tough news, your only child, only son.”

He and his family say they’re proud of RPD for moving the case forward, and feel one step closer to justice. But the reality of losing his son, will always be there.

“He touched Rochester, surrounding towns throughout the world,” said family member Angela Stephens. “Every day we miss him, all the time some days are better than most.”

Keys says recent violence in the city is discouraging and wants his story – to be a wake-up call.

“Stop killing each other, it’s ridiculous,” he said. “This is what we got to go through, you messing up a lot of families getting destroyed because of one stupid decision. Stop it. Just stop it.”

Keys describes his son as a humble, loving person – very adamant about just making it in life. He also loved music and rapping.

Additional charges against both suspects may be presented to Monroe County grand jury. A preliminary hearing is set for next week.


Check back with News 8 WROC as we will continue to update this developing story.