State drops 2nd-degree murder, other charges against Greg Johnson
Updated On: May 10 2014 10:50:00 PM EDT
Channel 4 confirms that the state dropped second-degree murder, assault and auto-burglary charges against Greg Johnson in the hit-and-run death outside the Jacksonville Landing in 2012.
The 29-year-old pleaded no contest to criminal mischief, a third-degree felony.
It all started with a fight outside the Landing in August 2012.
Witnesses described a chaotic scene of fighting and screaming in a parking lot across the street from the Landing that night, according to documents released by the state attorney's office.
Police said 22-year-old Taylor Evans was threatening Brian Patterson, who was driving a pickup truck.
Investigators said Johnson started a fight with Patterson while he was driving the truck that ran over Evans.
Legal expert Rhonda Peoples-Waters said prosecutors had no choice but to drop the charges against Johnson.
"It looks like there was not a clear, factual basis that was laid out that was maybe in the initial investigation. Of course you have to look at all of the witnesses statements but maybe the state attorney had some information from some of the witnesses that because the defendant was the person that struck the driver and the driver was trying to get away from him, that was the reason why they felt that the defendant was responsible for these drivers actions," Peoples-Waters said.
Patterson was charged with DUI and sentenced to six months in jail, a year of probation, a year's suspended license and 200 hours of community service.
He was released from jail just over a year ago.
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