ELKTON — Cecil County officials are pointing fingers over the 2015 dismissal of charges against Radee Prince, the man who — two years later — was charged in a fatal workplace shooting in Harford County.
Authorities say Prince shot five co-workers at a Edgewood granite company in 2017, killing three. A trial is pending in that case, but he's been sentenced to 40 years in prison for shooting a man in Delaware the same day.
The Cecil County Sheriff's Office says it was prepared for a 2015 trial on weapons and traffic charges that Prince faced after a March 2015 traffic stop, but the state's attorney's office dropped them, according to a report in the The News Journal of Wilmington, Del.
According to court documents, Deputy First Class Joseph Kenley pulled Prince over because of a broken headlight and as they spoke, Prince “began getting extremely loud and aggressive.”
An Elkton police officer arrived and, after making checks, told Kenley that Prince's license was suspended and that he was wanted on a bench warrant for traffic violations. Prince was handcuffed and a police dog found a handgun in his SUV, according to court documents.
Prince had more than a dozen felony convictions and was prohibited from possessing a weapon. He faced nine years in prison, but walked out of the courtroom.
“Our deputy showed up, ready to go to trial on the day of the court proceeding, however, the prosecutor of the State's Attorney's Office made a decision to drop the case,” said Lt. Michael Holmes, a spokesman with the Sheriff's Office.
“It was their decision to not prosecute the case,” he said, referring questions to the state's attorney's office.
At Prince's hearing, prosecutors said they were dropping charges at the request of the deputy who made the arrest. In 2017, prosecutors said there was insufficient evidence to convict Prince.
The office of the current state's attorney, Amanda Bessicks, did not return calls or emails inquiring about the dropped charges.