Virginia Beach murder case dropped after prosecutors admit to mishandling case

Posted at 9:05 AM, Mar 05, 2018

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Commonwealth's Attorney Colin Stolle apologized for mishandling a murder case, where charges against a man have now been dismissed.

"This case is gone," Stolle said. "There's nothing that can be done."

Last week, prosecutors decided to drop charges against Leander Williams due to unusual circumstances that came up during the trial.

The lead prosecutor was sick, so the second chair asked for a continuance saying he wasn't prepared to interview the scheduled witness.

Judge Glenn Croshaw denied that request. Prosecutors say they then asked for a mistrial, but the judge said he didn't see the basis for it. As a result, prosecutors asked for the case to be dismissed, but later realized their error due to double jeopardy, where prosecutors can't charge a person twice for the same crime.

On Monday morning, the prosecutors asked for the judge to withdraw the dismissal, but again the judge denied their request. Stolle said there is no further action they can take, so the case is over.

Stolle fired one of his chief deputies, Scott Vacharis, after last week's decision. "Some mistakes are inexcusable and require swift and immediate action and that is what I did in this case," Stolle said.

Williams was charged with second degree murder in the 2016 shooting death of Antonio Cameron on Connie Lane. Outside of the courthouse on Monday morning, friends and family of Cameron said they believe Williams got away with murder. "Sorry isn't enough for me, but there isn't anything I can do," said Brenda Tate, Cameron's mother.

Williams had no comment for reporters.