Murder charges dropped in Coleman case

Friday, May 20, 2011 | 4:59 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Murder charges were dropped against the man arrested in connection with the fatal shooting of Donnell G. Coleman in north Columbia, Detective Tom O’Sullivan of the Boone County Sheriff’s Department said.

After the Sheriff's Department obtained new information concerning Coleman's death, O'Sullivan asked Boone County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Knight to drop all charges against Deangelo T. Grant, O'Sullivan said.

Grant was charged with second-degree murder, first-degree burglary and armed criminal action in connection with Coleman's death, according to previous Missourian reports.

“We were acting in good faith, we were confident we had someone that was involved in this,” O’Sullivan said.

On April 17, deputies arrived at 7711 La Porte Ave., at the Country House Apartments in northeast Columbia where they found Coleman, 27, shot after an apparent home invasion, according to a probable cause statement.

A witness to the incident stated that two men broke into the apartment and told deputies one of the men was named “Deeter,” an alias that matched Grant in a law enforcement database, according to the probable cause statement.

A warrant was issued for Grant's arrest, and he later turned himself in  to authorities, the Missourian report stated.

O’Sullivan said he could not comment on the witness's account of the incident used in the probable cause statement or details of the new information in the case.

“All I can tell you is the investigation is ongoing and no one has been exonerated,” O’Sullivan said.

The second man has not been identified, O'Sullivan said.

Knight declined to comment on any new information pertaining to the case because of ethical concerns.

Grant was still in custody Friday evening, according to the U.S. Marshals Service.

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