Crime & Courts

August 23, 2014

Second-degree murder charge dropped against man in Sept. 2013 shooting

The Sedgwick County District Attorney’s Office has not said whether it plans to re-file the case against 23-year-old Antonio T. Bell, who was accused of second-degree murder in the death of Deandre Freeman Jr. last year.

Prosecutors last week dropped a second-degree murder charge against a man accused of killing a 23-year-old found shot to death near Kechi last September.

Antonio T. Bell, 23, remained in Sedgwick County Jail on Saturday in lieu of $50,000 bond on an unrelated drug case. He was charged with killing Deandre Freeman Jr., whose body was discovered in a ditch the 8000 block of North Oliver on Sept. 30. Freeman had been shot in the head and neck.

Sedgwick County District Attorney’s Office spokesman Dan Dillon said in an e-mailed statement that the murder case was “dismissed without prejudice” but he would not give further details. A case that is dismissed without prejudice can be filed again at a later date.

“Like in all cases, if additional information comes to light, the case can be re-examined,” Dillon wrote in the e-mail. In a follow-up e-mail, he said: “We do not take this lightly.”

The prosecution’s request for dismissal was granted Aug. 14, the same day Bell was scheduled for a preliminary hearing. The D.A.’s office has not said whether it plans to re-file the case.

Freeman and Bell were documented gang members and knew one another, the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office has said.

Reach Amy Renee Leiker at 316-268-6644 or aleiker@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @amyreneeleiker.

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