Prosecutors in December dropped charges against a teenager accused of shooting a police officer last year, yet the young man just learned the outcome of his case last week.
Dominique Barr’s lawyer said an innocent young man’s life unnecessarily stayed in limbo for an extra five months. Attorney Steve Davis said he only found out about the dismissal after calling prosecutors to check the status of the case last week.
“What a beautiful thing it would have been for me to tell the family the case had been dismissed right before Christmas,” Davis said.
Deputy Solicitor Bryan Alfaro, the prosecutor in the case, said Thursday that he thought he had told Davis that the case was dropped. Alfaro sent Davis an email last week, apologizing if he forgot to mention the dismissal. “Our practice is to notify defense attorneys as a courtesy, even though it's not required,” Alfaro said in an interview.
Berkeley County sheriff’s deputies accused Dominique Barr of shooting an off-duty Moncks Corner police officer last year. Barr, then 18, was only 17 days away from graduating Goose Creek High School.
Davis said his client never graduated because of the pending criminal case.
Moncks Corner police officer Shane Judy had been chasing a man who ran from the scene of a head-on collision at Liberty Hall Road on May 4, 2011, when the man turned and fired a gun at Judy. A bullet ricocheted off the pavement and grazed Judy’s leg, leaving him without serious injury.
The shooting sparked a manhunt with dozens of officers from several local law enforcement agencies. Barr’s mother convinced her son to turn himself in, after learning that deputies wanted him, but Barr’s lawyer insisted on his client’s innocence from the start.
Davis said Barr only turned himself in to clear his name. Barr submitted to forensic testing, and the DNA collected did not match evidence collected at the scene.
Read more in Friday’s editions of The Post and Courier.
Reach Allyson Bird at 937-5594 or Twitter.com/allysonjbird.