Murder charges dropped against man accused in 2018 triple shooting
ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Winnebago County State’s Attorney J. Hanley announced that murder charges have been dropped against Quincy Wright for a triple shooting which occurred in 2018.
“Unfortunately two and a half years after it was originally charged the evidence does not support Wrights guilt beyond a reasonable doubt,” Hanley said.
On November 25, 2018 at 2:30 a.m., officers from the Rockford Police Department responded to a shooting in the area of 8th Street and Broadway. Officers found three individuals had been struck by gunfire. Unfortunately, Shawnquez Edwards and Chiyara (Chi Chi) Nelson died as a result of their injuries and a third suffered significant but non-fatal injuries.
“They need to do their jobs because this was so unfair,” Chiyara Nelson’s Mother said.
“It’s been two years and this is what we get in two years?” Chiyara Nelson’s Aunt Loveanger Dishman said.
On December 19, 2018, Quincy Wright was charged by indictment with several counts of first degree murder, attempt murder, aggravated discharge of a firearm, and unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon.
“There were more than 100 People at the scene of this crime and yet only one person came to in to testify we cannot arrest charge and prosecute for perpetuating this crime without witnesses,” Hanley said.
Hanley says the primary evidence against Wright is the testimony of a single individual who was present at the time of the shooting. This individual identified Wright as the shooter. The witness stated that Wright was on the sidewalk adjacent to 8th Street when he began firing a gun. However, fifteen shell casings recovered from the scene were strewn along 8th Avenue for approximately a block and a half. This is consistent with a “drive-by” shooting and directly contradicts the version of events provided by the witness.
“That one witness provided the testimony for the evidence to support this charge two and a half years later now is saying why did I cooperate in the first place,” Hanley said.
The dismissal comes as a surprise to family members of Edwards and Nelson who are desperately looking for justice for their loved ones.
“There’s plenty of blame to go around so I’m not happy with any of it,” Shawnquez Edwards’ Father Clyde Tucker said.
“I’m going to pray that we will get justice for both of our families,” Shawnquez Edwards’ Mother Sheila Edwards said.
The State’s Attorney office is still investigating this case and are asking the public for help. Please contact the Rockford Police Department at 815-966-2900 or Rockford Area Crime Stoppers at 815-963-7867 if you have any information related to this shooting.
“As State’s Attorney, my mandate is to seek justice. I have a legal and ethical obligation to proceed only when I believe a case can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt at trial. I do not take this responsibility lightly. Upon taking office, I began to review the more serious pending cases to be sure this standard has been met. During this review, it became clear to me that there were cases that never should have been charged. The Wright case is one such case. At this time, the available evidence does not support Wright’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. I cannot fathom the sorrow the victim’s families must feel as a result of this tragedy. And I am aware that my decision does not help to heal the emotional wounds they have suffered. To the extent the victims’ families feel betrayed or misled by my office, I sincerely apologize and I will work to earn back their trust,” Hanley says.
Wright also has a separate pending case for Unlawful Possession of a Firearm (Case: 18-CF-3105). The State’s Attorney’s Office will continue prosecuting that case.
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