Witness' death closes case

May 29, 2008|By Brent Jones

City prosecutors have dropped attempted-murder charges against a 23-year-old Baltimore man after the state's lone witness was killed two weeks ago.

Marvin Lucas, 21, of the 3800 block of Belair Road was fatally shot May 14 in Southeast Baltimore in a struggle with Donielle McCoy, 20, over a handgun, court documents say.

Lucas was to testify in the attempted-murder trial of Brandon R. Allen, who was accused of shooting McCoy and another man in the 300 block of S. Ballou Court in October. Allen's case was to go to trial June 6.

Lucas was the only witness to identify Allen, court documents say.

"These types of cases raise a lot of red flags and demand a thorough investigation, and that is going on as we speak," said Margaret T. Burns, a spokeswoman for the Baltimore state's attorney's office.

Allen's public defender could not be reached for comment.

Prosecutors have charged McCoy with first-degree murder in Lucas' death. Charging documents say Lucas and McCoy argued and McCoy pulled out a handgun, which the two struggled over before Lucas was fatally shot. McCoy admitted fighting but denied causing Lucas' death, the documents say.

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