State prosecutors have dropped second-degree murder charges against a Dover man, suspected in the 2009 killing of a Seaford man.
Jermaine M. Zachary, 22, had been scheduled to go on trial Dec. 16, according to the schedule published by Kent County Superior Court, but the Dover Post learned Dec. 6 the case had been dismissed on Oct. 4.
“As prosecutors prepared the case for trial earlier this fall, the Superior Court approved a defense motion to suppress evidence that was instrumental in the state’s case,” said Department of Justice spokesman Jason Miller.
“This suppressed evidence consisted of cell phone records that the state argued tied Zachary to the unnamed shooter, who remains at large, and therefore to the crime,” Miller said.
Without this evidence, prosecutors dropped the charges with the proviso Zachary could again be charged in the future should additional evidence link him to the crime.
Zachary was arrested in October 2012 for his involvement in the shooting death of Robert W. Watkins, 40, of Seaford.
According to police reports, on Sept. 25, 2009, Watkins and his girlfriend had gone to London Village, Magnolia, to discuss buying a dog. Zachary allegedly got into the back of their car while a still unidentified man stood outside the vehicle. At some time during the discussion, the unknown man pulled a handgun and demanded money from Watkins; the man fired at least one shot, striking Watkins in the abdomen, as the woman tried to drive away.
Zachary allegedly jumped out of the car before it sped off and fled.
Watkins later died at Christiana Hospital.
Zachary was later developed as a suspect in the case following a May 2010 robbery at Country Village apartments. He was arrested for Watkins’ murder during a visit to his probation officer.
Miller said Zachary also had been arrested on weapons and reckless endangering charges following a June 2013 shooting incident in Capitol Park. He remains in custody on those charges.