LANSING - Charges are dismissed against three of the seven men charged in the shooting death of a young Lansing woman in July. Charles Kunta Lewis, Ralphael Crenshaw and Nicholas Brown saw the murder and robbery charges against them dismissed Monday, during a preliminary examination in Lansing. It was determined that not enough evidence existed to place them at the scene of the July 23rd shooting on Lenore Street. 19-year-old Shayla Johnson was killed when a group of men stormed her home and shot her several times.
Four other men and one boy remained charged in the case. The preliminary hearing continues Monday afternoon.
"The matter is dismissed for Mr. Brown, Mr. Crenshaw and Mr. Lewis," said Judge Filice on Monday morning.
Family members of the three defendants erupted in applause in the crowded courtroom after the prosecutor decided there wasn't enough evidence and dropped the murder charges.
"They have to show probable cause that this person was connected to the case and they couldn't do that today," said Charles Ford, attorney for Raphael Crenshaw.
Ford went on to say there's no evidence connecting his client to the crime and just because the defendants were arrested and charged doesn't mean they were involved. But the four other adults, Dion Lanier, Walee Al-Din, Demetrius Kline and Mustafa Al-Din finished their second day in court still facing open murder charges.
"The judge will have to make a decision with regard to each defendant whether there's probable cause that a crime's been committed. I suspect, based on the evidence that it shouldn't be a surprise that some of the defendants will get bound over," said Andrew Abood, the lawyer for Lanier.
Some of the testimony on Monday included how police dogs were used around Shayla Johnson's resident and the home of one of the defendants. Johnson's mother was also called as a witness.
"I grabbed the gurney, she was in a neck brace. Face bloody, hair bloody. I kissed her, told her I loved her," said Lori Black.
That was the last time Black saw her daughter alive.
"She said 'Mom, I don't want to die," said Black.
The case continues on Tuesday to decide whether or not to pursue a trial.