We can thank our useless Delaware Attorney's General & Judges, and the jurors, for this.......stay vigilant, you may just come across one of these scumbags someday. ~ Rob.
Delaware slaying suspects now free or serving time for lesser charges
The News Journal • February 14, 2010 The homicide cases that ended over the past year with charges dismissed by a judge or jury or having all charges dropped or drastically reduced by a prosecutor include:
Troy Dixon, 27, of Wilmington, who had faced first-degree murder charges, admitted instead to conspiracy in a February deal with prosecutors related to the December 2006 fatal shooting of Marlon E. Johnson, 20, in the Browntown section of Wilmington. Dixon had been set to go to trial in January 2009 but the trial, just before he reached his plea deal, had been pushed back to July 2009. Investigators believed Dixon and a co-defendant had shot Johnson, of the Newark area, in a dispute over money. That co-defendant, Joseph G. Thomas, 22, reached a plea deal with prosecutors in November 2008, admitting to the lesser charge of manslaughter and a weapons count. In exchange, prosecutors agreed to seek no more than an eight-year sentence. Before Dixon's trial, ballistics evidence came back showing there was only one gun involved and that Thomas was likely the sole shooter, leading the state to drop homicide charges against Dixon. Under the terms of the deal, Dixon was expected to be released almost immediately -- but at sentencing, the judge sent Thomas to prison for 12 years and Dixon was given four years.
Dean Pritchett, 17, of Wilmington had all charges, including first-degree murder, dropped by prosecutors in November, a week before his trial for the June 2008 slaying on North Van Buren Street of Rene Caraballo, 51, of Wilmington. He almost immediately was freed. In this case, police had arrested another person along with Pritchett -- a 17 year-old who denied involvement but was arrested with the murder weapon and who claimed in an interrogation that he had the gun on the night of the shooting. Also, in a court appearance, a police officer claimed Pritchett was clearly visible in a surveillance tape of the slaying. A judge later found the officer's decision to withhold evidence about the second suspect in a court proceeding and misstatements about the video to be "reckless if not intentional" and refused to order a DNA test. Prosecutors subsequently dropped all charges, saying two witnesses had substantially changed their stories making it "not prosecutable."
Dominique A. Earl, 20, of Bear, had all charges dropped against him -- the same day charges were dropped against Pritchett -- in the August 2008 slaying of Kanubhai Patel, 46, as Patel was walking to the Dunkin' Donuts he managed on Del. 273 near Newark. If Earl had been convicted at his January trial, he faced a possible death sentence. Instead, he was freed. In this case, a co-defendant, Kason M. Horta, 22, of Newark had reached a plea deal with prosecutors to the lesser charge of manslaughter and promised to testify at Earl's trial. Prosecutors said new evidence obtained after that plea deal -- both cell-phone records and witnesses -- indicated Earl, who had been incarcerated for 15 months, was not near the scene of the shooting. So they dropped all charges against Earl. Horta has not yet been sentenced.
Victor "Twink" Poindexter, 21, of Wilmington had all charges, including second-degree murder and kidnapping, dropped in April, less than a week before he was set to go on trail with two co-defendants in the 2007 slaying of 35-year-old Clifford Henson of Belvedere. He was freed. No on-the-record reason was given by prosecutors, though Poindexter was never suspected to be the shooter or a central figure in Henson's death. While cell-phone records placed him near the scene of the crime -- on Hillside Road near Greenville -- at the time of the killing, eyewitness testimony was conflicting. The change was so abrupt that Poindexter's name still appeared on some state exhibits that were shown to the jury in the prosecution of co-defendants Isaiah "Freaky" Cleveland, 22, of Wilmington and Tyrone "Ty" Anderson, 23, of Belvedere.
Malik S. Brown, 20, of Glasgow, was acquitted last month by a Superior Court jury after a week and a half of testimony. Brown was charged in the slaying of Adrian Malone, 25, of Wilmington and the attempted murder of a second man in a 2008 daylight shooting at Fourth and Clayton streets. The jury also failed to reach a verdict on a charge of criminal impersonation that Brown's public defender conceded her client was guilty of during her closing argument. Because Brown had already been in prison 18 months, or six months longer than the maximum possible sentence for criminal impersonation, the judge ruled he could be released, and he was freed. In this case, the state had no hard evidence such as DNA or the murder weapon tying Brown to the shooting. Instead, prosecutors had the testimony of two eyewitnesses who were both heavy heroin users.
Loyer D. Braden, 20, of East Orange, N. J., had all charges, including second-degree murder, thrown out by a judge in May, just as jury selection was within days of his trial in the September 2007 fatal shooting of 17-year-old Delaware State University student Shalita Middleton, of Washington, on DSU's Dover campus. He was freed. The judge ruled that the state had improperly withheld statements from an eyewitness -- identifying someone other than Braden as the shooter -- from Braden's defense attorneys. Prosecutors later said there was miscommunication with police, and they would not seek to overturn the judge's ruling because a different witness recanted his story, undermining the case.
Cordell "Bear" Scretching, 21, of Bear, was acquitted by a jury of first-degree murder charges in May for the 2007 fatal stabbing at a Wilmington McDonald's of 22-year-old Donald Shepherd of Wilmington. The jury convicted Scretching of third-degree attempted assault, but because he had been held in custody longer than the maximum one-year sentence, he almost immediately was freed. In this case, prosecutors had DNA evidence that tied Scretching to the scene but were not allowed to use it at trial because of apparent miscommunication with the Medical Examiner's Office about when it was needed. A judge ruled the results came in too late before the trial to allow Scretching's attorney to have time to evaluate it.
Javon "Slug" Lemons, 18, of the New Castle area, was acquitted earlier this month by a Superior Court jury after a week of testimony on all homicide charges in the slaying of 17-year-old Michael Anderson of Wilmington. The jury, however, did convict Lemons of conspiracy, and he faces up to five years at sentencing later this year. A co-defendant in the case, Eric Branch, who was named as the shooter by at least one witness in the Lemons trial, goes on trial later this month. Like the Brown case, the prosecution evidence relied almost entirely on eyewitness accounts, which sometimes were conflicting.http://www.delawareonline.com/article/2 ... er-charges