Akron: Charges dropped in girl's murder, witness won't tesify

12:46 PM, Jul 20, 2012   |    comments
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AKRON -- Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh has dismissed "without prejudice" charges against Vernon Singleton in the shooting death of 11-year-old Carmella Holley.

Walsh said the state was forced to dismiss the charges after the prosecution's sole witness refused to testify against Singleton, claiming his family has been threatened

Walsh said "There is no statute of limitation on murder and my office is hopeful that someone will come forward and be willing to testify about what happened the night of Aug. 3, 2011. Because we dismissed without prejudice, we can refile the charges if witnesses will cooperate in the future."

Singleton was charged with murder, felonious assault, having weapons under disability and discharging a firearm into a residence or school.

Holley was killed Aug. 3, 2011 when a stray bullet struck her as she watched television in her family's apartment at Keys Place in Akron.

Walsh contends that Singleton, 26, and Terrance Roane, 19, both of Akron, were shooting at each other on the street outside the Holley family's apartment when Holley was killed.

Roane was indicted and charged with felonious assault, discharging a firearm on or near prohibited premises, tampering with evidence and carrying a concealed weapon.

"There are people in Akron who know exactly what happened the night Carmella Holley was murdered, but they refuse to stand up for an 11-year-old girl and her devastated family," Walsh said.

"Yes, it is scary to sit in that witness box. And yes, it is easier to swear you saw and know nothing. But someone has to be brave enough to ignore the no-snitching culture and help us seek justice for Carmella Holley and every other victim of 'witness-less' crime if we want to end the violence in Akron."


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