INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (April 13, 2016) – According to court records, a key witness in a string of homicides lied about her identity while receiving thousands of dollars in witness assistance. This development has led to the dismissal of some murder charges against Richard Grundy III, who is suspected of being the leader of a violent drug-trafficking ring in Indianapolis.
Two weeks ago, felony cocaine dealing charges against Grundy were also dropped because of evidentiary problems. Grundy and 10 other people known as the “Grundy Crew,” still face several other charges, including murder, attempted murders and trafficking thousands of pounds of marijuana from Phoenix to Indianapolis.
"They wanted Grundy so bad. They liked this witness so much because she told them what they wanted to hear and they really did nothing to corroborate it," said Grundy's attorney David R. Hennessy.
Grundy was accused of ordering the murders of Tyrece Dorsey, William Davis, Carlos Jefferson and Julius Douglas in early 2014. Court records say those charges were dismissed Friday, because the witness, who told detectives last July that Grundy had ordered and paid an associate to murder the men, failed to appear for depositions twice within the past month. According to the records, the witness used someone else's name and gave different birth dates during interviews with police.
Investigators determined it was unsafe for Berry to stay in Indianapolis and ordered her to move to Atlanta, according to court records. However, it was later determined that Berry provided false addresses of the homes she claimed to be staying at in Atlanta. Berry was given about $6,000 in federal assistance money to move.
"A volunteer witness shaking down the government for money and pretending to move to another city and gives them a fake address," said Hennessy.
The witness, who told detectives that her name was Porche Harris, was charged with several felonies after police discovered she had used another woman's name. Her real name is Keynae Berry, according to court records.
"That’s how they found themselves out $6,000 with no witness," said Hennessy.
Berry, 23, is facing charges of identity deception, theft and multiple counts of counterfeiting. She's scheduled for a bail review hearing on Tuesday, according court records.
Despite dismissal of the Grundy's charges, he remains in custody and is still facing several other crimes. Grundy; his wife, Amanda Chowning-Grundy; his father, Richard Grundy, Jr.; and several others are accused of murder, attempted murder and trafficking thousands of pounds of marijuana.
Grundy still faces a murder charge in a separate case. The trial is expected in June.
The Marion County Prosecutor's Office released a statement regarding the developments in the case:
"The successful prosecution on those charges relied in great part on a witness’s statements. Once she was excluded as a witness, we were unable to move forward with the case. Richard Grundy III remains in custody on an unrelated pending case."
The Indianapolis Star contributed this story.