Just Another Guy with Opinions

Charges Dropped Against 3 Teens

Posted by shadmia on June 16, 2008

“Further investigation has shown that there is insufficient evidence to proceed with charges against the defendant.”

With that phrase charges were dropped against 3 of the teens involved in the case of the beating of former Mulberry High cheerleader Victoria Lindsay. Freed from further prosecution were: Cara Murphy, 16, Stephen Schumaker, 18, and Zachary Ashley, 17. They had all been charged with kidnapping and battery. There is some speculation that the 3 may become witnesses. However, Chip Thullbery, a spokesman for the State Attorney’s Office said any such speculation was premature: “At this point, it’s premature to determine who will be witnesses in the case,” Thullbery said.

Cara Murphy’s attorney, Melodie Lopez, said her client had nothing to do with the incident. Her client was at the scene of the incident, but that was all that happened.

Stephen Schumaker’s father, Bob Schumaker, blamed Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd, saying he had arrested the young men too hastily.

“They had nothing on the boys from the very start,” Bob Schumaker said. “That’s why we were so upset. Because they weren’t even there.”

Zachary Ashley’s mother, Heidi Dease, agreed:

“It’s been a long road,” Dease said. “But we’re very excited today.”

Five girls still remain charged in the beating of Victoria Lindsay: Mercades Nichols, 17; April Cooper, 15; Brittini Hardcastle, 17; Kayla Hassall, 15; and Brittany Mayes, 17, all of whom are charged with battery and kidnapping. In addition, Mercades, Brittini and Brittany also are charged with tampering with a witness. See the video here.

For the full story on the entire incident see this posting and this update.

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17 Responses to “Charges Dropped Against 3 Teens”

  1. Crystal said

    Thank you for posting this story. I am so happy for those boys (who really weren’t involved!!) It’s a shame that they had to go through all that they did, just to have charges dropped! Shame on PCSD for not having ANY evidence before arresting them!!!

  2. Bryan said

    Hey Crystal, Don’t be stupid – Read between the lines

    “Further investigation has shown that there is insufficient evidence to proceed with charges against the defendant.”

    That doesn’t mean they weren’t involved, they’re not the precious angels you pretend them to be, so don’t play it off as such. We’ll see how “involved” they were when or if they testify against the others.

  3. Arabelle said

    Who gives a crap if they physically touched her or not!? I mean they were still involved. If someone asks you to ‘keep watch’ outside a house and you know they’re inviting some girl who’s allegedly talked ‘smack’ about them you’d think you would have common sense to know something bad is about to happen or will happen. The fact that teens have become completely numb from feeling anything such as remorse and compassion is sick. The boys knew something. They had too. Unless I guess they could find this normal: you know, someone asking you to guard a house. Unbelievable to say the least. These ‘creatures’ are prime examples of how our society is going down the drain. And its people like you Crystal, that would keep this going. Get a few brain cells. All these animals deserve to be in jail if not more. It’s sick and immoral. I live in a neighborhood with houses an acre or so apart and everyone can hear when someone is having a fight. Those boys were right outside. I’m assuming they could hear the screaming and crying and yet did they do anything? No. They allowed it to go on. God this whole story is fist clenching! What have we turned our children into? If this builds up we will all surely perish. And we are the only one’s to blame.

  4. Didacticus said

    The boys are simply innocent. Law enforcement lied and lied and lied about them and made fools out of millions of people. People like Bryan and Arabelle are just helping to spread more lies. It is sad how people refuse to admit they were foooled. It is embarrasing, of course.

  5. Jen said

    This is such a sad story. I don’t know all of the details, but ganging up to beat up one person….that’s weak. Even if you don’t participate, and only watch, you should still get in some trouble.

  6. JUSTICEwillBE... said

    #233 on our list.

  7. Edwin said

    You idiots are well just that…Those boys were involved. You can hear them on the tape, they hear the beating, and tell them to quiet down, and yet they aren’t involved? So if I see someone get murdered and don’t report it or anything, then i’m not involved, or nothing huh????Funny how that works, where i’d be charged as a accessory to a crime just for simpley not reporting it…EVERYBODY was involved in this case, they all knew what was going on, and no one bothered to call 911 after the beating, the damn victim had to call…HOW F”ING sad is that????Even Dr. GayIL decided to bail one out, not the victim or her family, but he damn asailant, what is wrong with that homo….Get your heads on streight people, how would you feel if your own flesh and blood was getting beating and no one bothered to call the police just allowed it???Yea thats what I thought…Dr. Phil why don’t you come to my house try to give me a analysis, I bet I could sum you up in 2 words…..: EDUCATED IDIOT!!!

  8. Didacticus said

    Yeah right Edwin, you hear who on what tape? You just making up stuff.

    And how do you “hear” a beating from inside a house? The neighbors might have heard arguing, since the girls spent most of the time arguing.

    And the victim was picked up by an adult whom the girls called. That adult was perfectly able to call 911 if need be. The boys didn’t hear about what happened until later and didn’t know where she was nor that she would need to go to a hospital.

  9. paula said

    They should ALL pay. If adults who are involved in a felony by MISTAKE get convicted, why not these boys? They were the “LOOK OUT”. How could they not hear the screaming. They are just as much to blame. They knew. Plain and simple, the parents got great lawyers who got them out of a jam. I hope they all pay for many years to come. When you’ve been bullied, you never forget it. This girl may have permanent damage. All of them should have taken a court mandated anger management course. How disgusting that we let youths know “It’s okay to bully other kids, because you won’t get jail time”. It’s a disgrace.

  10. Didacticus said

    Once again: the boys were NOT lookouts. They are VICTIMS of law enforcement negligence at best (framed more like it).

    The simple reason charges were dropped was… they were INNOCENT!

  11. Mike said

    D are you familar with this case at all? Early on you could see the entire video online, and hear the boys tell the girls to hold it down. There is clear evidence that they knew what was going on, and should be held accountable. I expect that in the future we will find they reached a deal with the prosecution, to testify against the others to have thier charges dropped. Most likely because they have knowlege about the planning of the attack, which will be critical to reach convictions for those actually involved with the assault.

  12. Bigjoe said

    By not participating in the beating does not make you automatically innocent. They were at the house and did not to stop the beating. There should be a charge at minimum for being there and not acting upon an assault in progress. Horrible call on the prosecution’s part.

  13. Didacticus said

    Mike, you are having a false memory induced by massive campaign of misinformation started by the sheriff. He misled the media into thinking that the boys appear on the video, but in reality they do not. All the available videos wee released as part of the discovery process. I’ve seen them all and the boys are nowhere on the video. That’s because they left to get gas even before the victim re-entered the house.

    Again, you’re a beautiful illustration of how massive amounts of media misinformation can induce false memories.

    And of course they were let go simply because they were innocent, otherwise there would be a DEAL requiring them to testify at the trial. Reality is they ALREADY answered all the question the prosecutor asked at a deposition and they knew of no plan to jump the victim.

  14. Didacticus said

    Bigjoe the boys LEFT to get gas BEFORE the beating started and they said they had NO knowledge of any plan to jump the victim. The girls questioned by the SAO back that up. They were simply innocent.

    Your objection is relevant only for Cara, who was indeed there and failed to stop the beating yet had charges dropped. The reality is that in Florida (and many other states) it is not criminal for ADULTS when they fail to stop a crime (for whatever reason), so why should it be criminal for children? Change the bloody laws for adults first.

    Note that even cops are not liable when they fail to stop crime in progress (and report it). Like Polk County sheriff’s deputy William Shepherd, who witnessed a rape by fellow officer of a 16-year-old girl on probation and failed to stop and report it. He ADMITTED this to the FDLE later when the girl complained and all the great sheriff Grady Judd did is suspend him WITH PAY.

    No big conference to denounce the inexcusable behavior of his deputy. But hey, it’s just kids getting raped by law enforcement officers, really not worth worrying about, there are far worse criminals around, like the 14-year-old April guilty of MISDEMEANOR battery and facing life in prison.

  15. Ellie said

    the two boys kept watch, so that if anyone was to come to the house while the girls were still there, they could not the door and the girls would know and maybe make a run for it, or thats what the websites have been saying lately.

    the way i see it is, no one should be put through that, its not right, end off.
    theres a quote from one tree hill, something like “whats happened to the world, that when we send are children out to school, its like sending soldiers to war, not knowing what will happen and if any harm will come to them” – makes me think of this whole thing.

    victoria shouldn’t of been put through this, and i think the girls should be put in jail, they shouldnt of been able to walk free for some time, or at least a punishment.

  16. simon said

    Basically – these scum so called boys were outside, what did they think was going on? a picnic…

    Rubbish – these two scumbags should be sent to jail – they should get a beating everyday.

    Just because there is insufficient evidence doesn’t mean they are innocent…. they were aiding and abetting a crime… one of which is kidnapping.

    Let’s hope they get what they deserve!

  17. Jason said

    They knew of NO plan to jump the victim?!? Are you really that naive or just plain stupid? A group of friends plan to technically kidnap and beat a classmate and somehow the two guys were left out of the loop? My apologies to your inept brain processing, but that just does not happen, especially in a small town like Mulberry. I am sure that they answered the prosecutors questions truthfully, because these seem like some honest, well behaved teenagers. They went to go get gas!! HA! What a BS excuse. You can see atleast 8 people in the video. If they had no involvement or no knowledge, then just how did they become suspects in the first place? Just a bunch of suburbian white trash kids following in the footsteps of their parents, if you can call them parents.

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