INDIANAPOLIS — This week prosecutors in Marion County were forced to drop murder charges against two men accused of a deadly shooting.
The jury trial for one of the two suspects was set to begin on Monday. That has now been canceled, but it doesn’t mean the legal fight is over.
The killing took place more than two years ago, in June 2018, at the Spanish Oaks apartments. That’s where an apparent drug deal turned violent and 21-year-old Tevon Lane died after being shot in the chest in the downstairs common area of one of the buildings.
With the help of a confidential witness prosecutors were able to arrest two men, a then 18-year-old Antoine Williams Junior and a then 17-year-old Kolbe Moss.
Both suspects were charged with murder and set to be tried as adults this month.
Court records show prosecutors dropped the murder charges against both men because they were unable to locate one of their essential witnesses.
“In Marion County there are many witnesses that are scared to testify or have pressure not to testify,” said attorney Mario Massillamany.
Attorney Massillamany isn’t connected to the case, but as a former prosecutor in Marion County, he knows many murder cases face similar challenges.
Prosecutors in this case confirm they do have the option to refile the murder charges if they can locate the missing witness.
In the meantime, court documents show Williams is still serving time after being convicted of an unrelated armed robbery.
“When I was a prosecutor, if we lost a witness or they couldn’t be found, we would file a motion to file without prejudice so that way we have the option to refile without forcing the judges hand to dismiss with prejudice,” said Massillamany.
Prosecutors declined to comment on the dismissal, but anyone with information on the case or the witnesses location is asked to contact Crime Stoppers or the prosecutor’s office.