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Charges dropped in Westport 'loud music' murder

Baltimore prosecutors have dropped all charges against a 34-year-old man accused of shooting another man to death in what police said was a dispute over loud music, according to his attorney and court records.

Kevin B. Carroll was charged in March with shooting Craig Ray, also 34, outside the Westport home of Ray's girlfriend on Feb. 24.

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Police said Ray asked a neighbor to turn down music and stop making noise, and then called police. As Ray waited for an officer to arrive, police said, Carroll shot him and fled in a dark-colored SUV.

Lawrence Rosenberg, Carroll's defense attorney, said his client's arrest was based largely on an identification made by Ray's girlfriend. But Rosenberg said phone records and other evidence helped show that Carroll was elsewhere at the time of the shooting.

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In a rare move, prosecutors dropped all charges against Carroll on Sept. 15 without taking the case to trial, court records show. Carroll had been held without bond at the Baltimore City Detention Center for the past six months.

"They just got the wrong man," Rosenberg said.

City prosecutors did not respond to requests for comment. The police did not respond to questions about whether they agreed with the prosecutors' decision or whether they will reopen the case.

Rosenberg said he had sympathy for the victim's family. He said he believes the apparent mistaken identification will make it more difficult for prosecutors to win a conviction should police make another arrest in the case.

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Ray had been set to work a shift as an MTA bus driver hours before the shooting occurred. MTA officials said he had been a driver for five years and filled in on routes whenever there was an absence or need.

He graduated from Edmondson-Westside High School in 1997 and worked as a certified mechanic for the Baltimore Department of Transportation for several years.

Attempts to reach his family were not successful.

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