DOVER, Del. (AP)- A Wilmington man who faced first-degree murder charges and a possible death penalty before prosecutors dropped the case against him earlier this year has been killed in a double shooting in New Castle, authorities said Tuesday.
State police said Medford Holmes, 33, was one of two men shot Monday night on New Castle Avenue in New Castle.
Troopers responded to a report of multiple shots fired shortly after 9 p.m. Monday. They found Holmes lying on his side near the shoulder of the road suffering from a gunshot wound to the upper body. Holmes was transported by ambulance to Christiana Hospital Trauma Center, where he was pronounced dead.
Police said a second man, age 32, was transported to a local hospital by private vehicle, suffering from apparent multiple gunshot wounds. Police did not release the name of that man, who was admitted in serious condition.
Authorities refused to say whether the shooting of Holmes may have been related to the earlier murder case.
"We still don't have a motive," said Delaware State Police Sgt. Paul Shavack.
Prosecutors had sought the death penalty against Holmes in the April 2011 shooting death of Antonio Smith, 35, as Smith sat in his wheelchair outside his home.
The state's case against Holmes was based largely on the testimony of two witnesses - one a man unable to speak or write coherently because of a brain injury, and the other a convicted felon, Abdullah Talib-Din, who was wounded in the 2011 shooting.
Talib-Din testified during Holmes' trial that Holmes was the shooter, but the jury failed to reach a verdict and a mistrial was declared last October.
Prosecutors sought to retry Holmes without seeking the death penalty, but they were forced to drop the case after Talib-Din changed his story and said Holmes was not the shooter. Talib-Din was subsequently indicted for perjury.
Talib-Din, who was indicted on one count of perjury and five counts of providing a false statement to law enforcement, remains in custody in lieu of $15,000 cash bail, authorities said Tuesday.
In May, Holmes filed a federal lawsuit claiming that Wilmington police violated his civil and constitutional rights in pressuring Talib-Din and the other witness to identify him as the gunman.
Brian Chapman, an attorney who represented Holmes at his murder trial, said he was saddened to hear of Holmes' death.
Chapman said that since his release from custody in March, Holmes had been working as a house painter and spending time with his children.
"It's sad, because he had kids and family that he really cared about, and I really think he felt he had to make up for lost time," Chapman said.
A spokesman for the attorney general's office declined to comment on Holmes' death.