Derrontae Holmes

Derrontae Holmes. Cannon Detention Center/Provided

Prosecutors have dropped a murder charge against a man in the 2015 killing of Dena Brown after determining that he wasn't present during the shooting, that it was a case of mistaken identity. 

Testimony from co-defendants of Derrontae Philip Holmes, 22, indicated that he wasn't in the car when shots were fired at a Chrysler 300 driven by Brown in North Charleston in the early-morning hours of May 10, 2015.

But Holmes was the driver of another vehicle that was involved in a chase and shootout that preceded the deadly gunfire, 9th Circuit Assistant Solicitor Culver Kidd wrote in a Friday court filing dropping the murder charge. 

Kidd said Holmes has pleaded guilty to first-degree assault and battery for his role in the back-and-forth gunfire that began in the Dorchester-Waylyn neighborhood and stretched to Interstate 26. 

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Family of drive-by shooting victim seeks answers, justice (copy)

Dena Brown. File/Provided

One of the two vehicles involved, a Chrysler 300, broke away. Individuals in the opposing car saw another Chrysler driven by Brown and mistook it for the vehicle they had been pursuing, authorities said. 

A bullet struck Brown in the neck, and her car crashed into a barrier wall near a gas station on Ashley Phosphate Road. Brown, a mother of three who was driving home from a Mother's Day celebration with her own mother, had nothing to do with the violence. 

Several others have been convicted in connection with her death. In February, a jury found 19-year-old Kenneth Lamont Robinson Jr. guilty of murder and first-degree assault and battery. He was sentenced to 50 years in prison. 

In January, 23-year-old Richard Dara Simmons pleaded guilty to murder and attempted murder. A judge agreed to delay his sentencing. 

One count of murder and other charges are pending against Keon Marquell Cortez Anderson, 22, according to court records. 

Charmani Keperiche Aaliyah Shark-McDonald, 23, is charged with obstruction of justice, while court records show prosecutors recently dropped the same charge against 38-year-old Nigeia Tamika Brown.

Reach Angie Jackson at 843-937-5705. Follow her on Twitter at @angiejackson23

Angie Jackson covers crime and breaking news for The Post and Courier. She previously covered the same beat for the Grand Rapids Press and MLive.com in Michigan. When she’s not reporting, Angie enjoys teaching yoga and exploring the outdoors.