Charges Dropped Against Savannah Man Accused Of Murder - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

02/28/07

Charges Dropped Against Savannah Man Accused Of Murder

Police thought they closed the book on this murder case a year ago, now their prime suspect is out of jail and no longer facing any charges.

This afternoon Antonio Mitchell walked out of the Chatham County Jail a free man. He spent he last nine months behind bars on murder charges.

Mitchell was awaiting trial when new evidence came to light.

Savannah Chatham Metropolitan Police arrested Mitchell for the murder of Christopher Middleton. Middleton was shot near the corner of 42nd and Florence streets last May.

Mitchell's family was at the jail waiting for him to celebrate his freedom. Gwen Miller is Mitchell's aunt. She said, "We knew he did not do this, so his life begins all over again right now and it's going to be great for all of us."

So who did kill Christopher Middleton? Prosecutors and Mitchell's attorney Chuck Grile said it was David Simmons. But he won't be tried for murder either. Simmons was killed on 37th and Whitaker streets a week after he allegedly killed Middleton.

Grile said Simmons told his mother he shot Middleton, days before he was gunned down himself. Simmons mother wrote a letter to Grile.

Grile said, "In a conversation with her son he said he shot the boy, but didn't realize he killed him because the other boy was shooting at him at the same time."

Today the DA's office dropped the charges against Mitchell.

Nancy Middleton said, the victim's mother said, "This tragedy was emotional and traumatic for me. He was my only son and only friend. My heart goes out to all the mothers and families who were effected by this horrible crime."

Reported by Michelle Paynter, mpaynter@wtoc.com

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