Charges were dismissed against two people accused of involvement in the bizarre abduction of a Korean War veteran who was forced to get in a car,open a bank account and rent cars for the suspects.
Prosecutors vowed to refile charges in the case.
In April,Vashti Williams, 23, was accused with at least three other peopleof forcing the 86-year-old man and his wife into a car on the 3900 block of Pennsgrove Street. They were ordered to open anaccount atTD Bank location — the suspects actually provided the money for the new bank account.
Using a debit card issued that day, the suspects allegedly rented two cars, a 2015 Chevy Silverado and a 2014 Dodge Charger.
It’s unclear what they wanted to do with the cars. Police stopped one man, Damon Cornish, 24, in one of the vehicles a short time later.
Williams was charged with kidnapping and robbery. Cornish who was not identified as having taken part in the kidnapping, was charged with receiving stolen property.
But during a pretrial hearing today, defense attorneys argued that the case should be dismissed because the victim and his wife had not appeared in court to testify.
They argued that without that testimony, the only evidence available to charge their clients was the word of investigators, which was, essentially, hearsay.
Assistant District Attorney Emily Rodriguez said in court that the victims did not appear because two suspects haven’t been arrested yet in the case. Prosecutors want to hold a hearing when all four defendants are available that would allow the victim to testify — and be cross-examined — one time because both have health problems that would make repeated trips to the courthouse difficult.