Murder charges dropped against Severn man

Phone records, video footage confirms alibi

March 11, 2011|By Jessica Anderson, The Baltimore Sun

Murder charges were dropped Friday against a Severn man accused of killing a driver at a traffic light in August, according to the Anne Arundel County state's attorney's office.

James William King Jr. was charged with first-degree murder and indicted in the Aug. 6 slaying of 40-year-old Calvin Chi-Man Yeung of Severn. Yeung was stopped at a red light when a man approached the driver's side of his car and shot him twice in the head, police said.

New evidence, including phone records and enhanced video footage, substantiated an alibi for King, according to a statement from the state's attorneys office.

"We cannot continue with a prosecution of a man when newly discovered evidence contradicts the original foundation for which he was charged," State's Attorney Frank Weathersbee said in a statement. "It would be unethical and unfair. Further, it means that there may be another person responsible for this crime that must be brought to justice."

Police had arrested King, who voluntarily made a statement indicating his presence at the scene. King also matched the description given by a witness who saw the incident from her rearview mirror as she waited at the same light at Telegraph Road and Route 100.

"Police had more than sufficient evidence to charge in this case, which led to the indictment," Weathersbee said. "They worked tirelessly to solve the murder and believed, as we did, that the right man had been charged."

When King was arrested, police said he may have been motivated by road rage.

King was found mentally incompetent to stand trial March 7, and was taken to Clifton T. Perkins Hospital. He is still there, according to Weathersbee.

"We hope the police will not give up on finding the murderer in this cold-blood[ed] murder case," Yeung's sister, Hilda Chan, said in a statement. "It is not just for our family. We do not want to see this happen to any other family in the future."

In an earlier interview, she said her brother had two children and worked as a communications engineer for Mobilis. When he was 20, he had emigrated with his family from Hong Kong, she said.

On the night of his death, Chan said, he was about to go pick up his wife, who was helping a friend out at a nearby restaurant.

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