Lexington police clear two men who had been charged in Georgetown Street shooting

jmadden@herald-leader.comJuly 9, 2014 

Two men who police identified and named as suspects in a shooting on Georgetown Street have been cleared in the case.

Police had arrested Charles Taylor, 18, on Tuesday and had an outstanding arrest warrant for Lamarius Gates, 19, for a shooting outside Shopper's Choice on June 30 that was captured on a surveillance video.

But those charges were dismissed Wednesday.

Police issued a news release Tuesday, saying they had made an arrest and were looking for the second man. But investigators reversed course on Wednesday.

"Detectives initially obtained a warrant for Charles Taylor because they had probable cause to do so," Lexington police spokeswoman Sherelle Roberts said. "It was determined (Tuesday), after receiving additional information, that there was no longer probable cause to charge him."

When asked whether police had arrested the wrong man, Roberts said there was no longer probable cause. She refused to elaborate. Roberts said court documents would explain how investigators were led to Taylor and Gates.

According to court documents, a confidential informant identified Taylor as the shooter and Gates as the second person in the video. Court documents did not identify the informant.

Taylor was scheduled to be released Wednesday. He spent one night in jail after turning himself in Tuesday to the Fayette County Sheriff's office.

Taylor appeared Wednesday before Judge Julie Goodman in Fayette District Court for a video arraignment. His first-degree assault charge was amended, and then dismissed without prejudice.

Sean Marcum, the attorney who represented Taylor Wednesday, declined to comment.

Joseph Rugg, an attorney who sent the Herald-Leader an email message on Taylor's behalf, said the charges would be dismissed and asked that Taylor not be connected to the shooting. Rugg did not return calls for comment Wednesday.

Police also have withdrawn a complicity charge against Gates, who had not been arrested.

Court documents do not provide any other details about what happened.

The man who was shot in the shin and buttocks initially would not cooperate with police. Days later, police released surveillance footage — one of the first times they had done so — of the shooting to get help from the public.

Police have been seeking help from the public in an effort to solve several shootings. The shooting on Georgetown Street is one of 12 shootings in which a person has been injured or killed since June 21. The city recorded its 11th homicide Monday, and officers have been working around the clock to pursue leads.

Many of the other shooting cases have had vague descriptions of the shootings. Police have retracted descriptions of shooters twice in the past few weeks.

No arrests have been made in those cases, but Roberts said police have persons of interests.

The cases are "all important and they all have a team of people assigned to them," she said. "Each of these cases have a life of their own, so we are pursuing each case based upon the quality of evidence that we're recovering in each case."

Justin Madden: (859) 231-3197. Twitter: @HLpublicsafety.

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