A witness has recanted her testimony in a gang shooting, leading to the dismissal of first-degree murder charges against Antonio Evans, 19, and Christopher Penn, 21.
Chattanooga Police had responded at 8:20 p.m. Jan. 27 to a shooting at 1200 Grove St., where they found the victim, 23-year-old Terry Parker, Jr., who had been shot multiple times. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
It was reported to detectives that the victim was walking down the sidewalk when the suspects approached him, shot him, and fled. Detectives said afterward they believed that he was targeted by the suspects and that it was not a random shooting.
Evans was also charged with aggravated assault, unlawful possession of a weapon, and criminal conspiracy. Penn was also charged with criminal conspiracy.
A witness said she was walking in the area and saw Evans and Penn walk over to the victim. She said she heard two shots, but did not see a gun at first.
She said she then saw Evans shoot the victim twice more. The witness said Evans and Penn then ran. She said Evans and Penn are members of the Bloods gang, and Parker was affiliated with the Crips. But in court she said she could not be certain.
Evans and Penn denied any involvement in the murder.
Evans, of 5012 Woodland View Circle, had been held on a $1.2 million bond. Penn had been held on a $600,000 bond.
In dismissing the case, General Sessions Court Judge Lila Statom said, "There are 20 people who know exactly what happened in this case and it makes me sick to my stomach that we live in America and there are people who saw your child murdered" and won't come forward.
She said, "They are sickening, sickening people. Maybe you should move to a country that is ruled by criminals."
She said those who witness a murder and won't tell what happen "don't deserve to live in America."
Judge Statom said the case is not over and she believes that someday someone will come forward "who is not afraid of the Bloods and the Crips."