Officer Darren Wilson is AWOL and Missing Court Appearances
Officer Darren Wilson, the man at the center of the Ferguson controversy, has not been seen since August 9. His prolonged absence, though, has created a unique problem for prosecutors.
He is not showing up for court.
As the lead witness for the prosecution in a number of busts he made, without his testimony suspects he arrested are going free.
So far, six people have had their charges – all drug offenses – tossed out of court.
Ed Magee, spokesperson for the St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney said that the only way to nab those suspects was if Wilson showed up, but that he has no intention of causing any more trouble for Wilson by penalizing him for his failure to appear.
“We don’t get people in trouble for not showing up for court,” Magee said.
In one high-profile case that just got dismissed, Wilson even earned a commendation for the marijuana possession arrest, although the suspect alleged that Wilson had beat him while he was handcuffed.
Darren Wilson has been on paid leave since the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, which launched the on-going protests in Ferguson.
The grand jury is still considering whether to indict Wilson in Brown’s death, but according to experts it is looking more and more unlikely that the cop will face murder charges in the teen’s death.
“I don’t think the grand jury is going to indict him if what we’re hearing is true — that Brown’s blood was on the gun and in the car,” says Joel Schwartz, a criminal defense attorney with Rosenblum Schwartz Rogers & Glass said. “My guess, if they charge him with anything, would be manslaughter. Murder, especially murder first, I would say is unrealistic.”
Wilson has also not appeared at the Grand Jury hearings to testify, but according to legal expert Nick Notas, that is not unusual.
“It’s very rare that a defendant will go to the grand jury unless his attorney thinks he is going to be a great witness,” Zotos explained.
Photo Credit: Stephen Melkisethian