Prosecutors have dropped a first-degree murder charge against the 20-year-old from Ellicott City who police say fatally shot a man in a parked car while “playing around” with a revolver.
Rane Dellinger was indicted July 10 on second-degree murder, involuntary manslaughter and other related charges, Howard County State’s Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Yolanda Vazquez said in an email.
“After a thorough investigation and review of all the evidence presented in this case, our office decided it was more appropriate to move forward with second-degree murder charges,” Vazquez said.
First-degree murder requires that a killing be premeditated.
Dellinger was arrested in North Carolina after fleeing a few days after the June 1 shooting, which killed 20-year-old Jacob Mauer, of Ellicott City.
Dellinger and two others had driven to the parking lot of the Bethel Baptist Church in Ellicott City to smoke marijuana, charging documents said, and began playing around with a revolver brought along by Dellinger.
He was holding the gun when it discharged, killing Mauer, police say. Dellinger gathered the drugs and fled, the documents stated, and the third person in the vehicle dialed 911.