Citing "insurmountable" evidence of self-defense, prosecutors have dismissed a murder charge against a North Charleston man who was accused of killing another man during a shootout in 2015.
The charge against Chancellor Earl Thompson, 31, was dropped this week. Thompson had been free since posting bail in 2016, jail records showed.
He was charged in connection with the shooting death of 32-year-old Kareem Lavar Walker at a North Charleston apartment complex shortly before midnight on July 31, 2015.
Police at the time of Thompson's arrest in 2015 said his brother Jonathan Dwayne Thompson, 29, pulled out a gun and fired shots into the air as the two of them argued with Walker outside Noisette Creek Apartments on Buist Avenue. Chancellor Thompson pushed Walker to the ground, affidavits said.
Walker tried to walk up the stairs to his apartment, but authorities said the brothers stood in his way and pointed guns at him.
Walker pulled a gun from his pocket and pointed it at the brothers. Then gunfire broke out.
Walker and Jonathan Thompson were shot several times and died at the scene. Chancellor Thompson was not injured.
Thompson's attorney, Aaron Mayer of Charleston, said the dismissal of the murder charge was an instance of the Solicitor's Office "doing the right thing" after reviewing forensic evidence. Mayer said several witnesses were prepared to testify that Walker had started the shootout.
Ninth Circuit Assistant Solicitor Daniel Cooper said in court documents that he worked with the U.S. Attorney's Office to prosecute Thompson on federal charges stemming from the shooting. He noted that Thompson has been federally indicted.
Federal filings showed no record of charges against Thompson. The U.S. Attorney's Office declined to comment Thursday.