DALLAS - Murder charges were dropped at the prosecution's request Thursday in the dragging death of a black man, and the two white men who had been accused of killing him were released from jail.
Shannon Finley and Charles Crostley were released Thursday afternoon in Paris, in east Texas, after a judge granted the special prosecutor's motion to dismiss the case. The two men had been charged with fatally striking 24-year-old Brandon McClelland with a pickup truck in September following a late-night beer run the three friends had made to the neighboring state of Oklahoma.
The case had been unraveling in recent months because of a lack of eyewitnesses and physical evidence. Last month, a gravel truck driver gave a sworn statement acknowledging he might have accidentally run over McClelland.
"After investigation, it has been determined this case should be dismissed in the interests of justice," special prosecutor Toby Shook said. "The decision is about the state of the evidence in the case as it exists today."