Charges Dropped in Man's Dragging Death

Murder charges were dropped Thursday against two white men accused of killing a black man in a dragging death in East Texas.
A judge in Paris granted the special prosecutor's motion to dismiss the case.

Shannon Finley and Charles Crostley were then freed.

The two were accused of fatally striking Brandon McClelland last September while driving home after a beer run to Oklahoma.

Authorities have said the three friends argued over whether Finley was too drunk to drive. McClelland got out to walk home.

The case had been unraveling over lack of eyewitnesses and physical evidence. Last month a gravel truck driver acknowledged he might have accidentally run over McClelland.

Special prosecutor Toby Shook says the investigation will continue and the gravel truck driver is unlikely to face charges.

Attorneys for Finley and Crostley say they're not surprised that their clients were freed.

Civil rights activists had protested how Lamar County authorities handled the case.
Brenda Cherry, president of the city's Concerned Citizens for Racial Equality, expressed disappointment that a man was dragged and hit and no one is going to be charged.
"It's not surprising, but it's sad," Cherry said. "It appears that a black man's life means nothing here in Paris."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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