Murder Charges Dropped in 2011 Killing
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The Mecklenburg County District Attorney's office has dropped charges against the man accused in a deadly 2011 shooting.
Antonio Thompkins was charged with murder in the death of Antwan Smith. Smith was shot in the head on May 29, 2011 at about 1 AM in the 200 block of E. 3rd Street. "Speed Street," one of Charlotte's annual stock car racing events, had just ended. Prosecutors say the shooting stemmed from an earlier incident where Smith's friend was assaulted. Smith was upset and confronted the people who assault his friend.
Dismissal documents claim that several witnesses to the shooting gave false statements to the police. Detectives were only able to locate one person who was willing to identify the suspect in the case.
Since that witness gave his statement on May 30, 2011, CMPD and prosecutors tried multiple times to contact him again, unsuccessfully, for follow-up interviews. Prosecutors say "it is clear that this witness will not cooperate in the prosecution of this murder." Without his cooperation, the DA's office says it's unable to prosecute Thompkins at this time.
Thompkins' attorney, Jeremy Smith, says of his client, "He's probably gonna get with his family and be happy about that. I've spoken with his girlfriend about it, she's very excited, he has a child that he wants to see."
The attorney says the state "made the right call," in choosing to dismiss the charges, but warns his client could deal with this case again. "There's always a chance with any type of felony, there's no statute of limitations on a felony charge in North Carolina. The state can choose to re-charge him (Thompkins) or anyone else that they believe they have probable cause to charge in this case," says Smith.
Smith also says his investigation turned up several witnesses who claim that someone else pulled the trigger, not Thompkins.
A second victim, Durante "Havoc" James, was shot in the ankle. Prosecutors say he was also uncooperative with police and eventually told officers he could not identify the shooter. The charges Thompkins faced related to James' injury have also been dropped.