West Side Police News & Notes
Charges dismissed against Vernon Singleton
DOWNTOWN AKRON — On July 20, Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh dismissed without prejudice charges against Vernon Singleton in the shooting death of 11-year-old Carmella Holley, for which he was charged with murder, felonious assault, having weapons while under disability and discharging a firearm into a habitation or school.
The state of Ohio was forced to dismiss the charges after the prosecution’s sole witness refused to testify against Singleton, claiming his family has been threatened, according to Walsh’s office. Holley was killed Aug. 3, 2011, when a stray bullet struck her as she watched television in her family’s apartment at Keys Place in East Akron. The state of Ohio asserts that 26-year-old Singleton and 19-year-old Terrance Roane, both of Akron, were shooting at each other on the street outside the Holley family’s apartment when Holley was killed, according to Walsh’s office.
“There are people in Akron who know exactly what happened the night Carmella Holley was murdered, but they refuse to stand up for an 11-year-old girl and her devastated family,” said Walsh. “Yes, it is scary to sit in that witness box. And yes, it is easier to swear you saw and know nothing. But someone has to be brave enough to ignore the no-snitching culture and help us seek justice for Carmella Holley and every other victim of ‘witness-less’ crime if we want to end the violence in Akron … There is no statute of limitation on murder, and my office is hopeful that someone will come forward and be willing to testify about what happened the night of Aug. 3, 2011. Because we dismissed without prejudice, we can refile the charges if witnesses will cooperate in the future.”
— Ariel Hakim contributed to this report.
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