CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC ) — A man accused in a shooting at a Chesterfield high school graduation party is no longer facing second-degree murder charges in the death of 20-year-old Taborri Carter.
Andre Coleman was charged with second-degree murder in connection to Carter’s death while at a 2022 graduation party in Chester.
Chesterfield police said they responded to Stepney and Weybridge Roads just before 10:30 p.m. on June 3.
In addition to Carter, five other shooting victims were injured but left before officers arrived at the scene.
The investigation led to the arrest of Coleman, who was 18 at the time, on June 9. Police said the U.S. Marshals Service Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives assisted in the arrest.
At the time, Coleman was charged with second-degree murder, attempted malicious wounding and two counts of use of a firearm in commission of a felony in relation to the shooting. Online court records show those charges were dropped on April 24.
Leonard McCall, who stepped in to represent Coleman in the case, told 8News that the Commonwealth’s Attorney did not move forward with the charges because there were some evidentiary issues, specifically, problems with forensic evidence.
Russ Stone, attorney and 8News legal analyst, said the Commonwealth Attorney has the authority to not move forward with a case for a variety of reasons.
“It might be because they feel like there is a lack of evidence. It might be because there are witnesses that they can’t get to come to court. It might be because they’ve determined that the person is in fact innocent,” he said.
Stacey Davenport, Chesterfield County’s Commonwealth Attorney, did not return 8News’ request for comment.
Captain Michael Breeden, with Chesterfield police, told 8News that investigators are still trying to identify witnesses, identify people who attended the party that night and identify the shooters at the party.
He said there were “more than a few” shooters. Police said earlier in the investigation that more than 50 shots were fired at the scene.
“We’re still investigating. We’re still tracking down other leads and we’re still committed to bringing justice to Taborri and his family,” Breeden said.
Stone added that even though the charges were dropped, the Commonwealth’s Attorney can circle back later on.
“It’s important for people to remember that that is not binding upon the Commonwealth,” he said. “If they decide later, next year, two years from now that they do have a case and they want to change their mind and prosecute they still can.”