Charges withdrawn in Decker case

Turner walks free after his charges were withdrawn, March 17, 2014. (WAVY/Aaron Kurtz)

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – The charges against one of the men accused of killing an off-duty Norfolk police officer in 2010 were nolle prosequi Monday.

WAVY News’ Ava Hurdle was at the motions hearing in Virginia Beach for Kareem Turner, who has always maintained his innocence.

“I feel good to be free,” he said. “It’s a beautiful feeling. I’m happy justice was served. I smiled coming into court. This feeling I can’t explain. I’m just happy it’s all over with.”

Photos: Charges withdrawn, Turner released

Nolle prosequi means the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office is declining to prosecute at this time, but the charges could be brought back at a later date if prosecutors choose to do so. Prosecutors said there was not sufficient evidence to proceed with a jury trial, which was set to begin Monday morning. One, possibly two witnesses had lied about Turner, according to the Commonwealth’s Attorney.

Turner was charged with second degree murder, armed robbery, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony and conspiracy in the death of Officer Victor Decker. Decker was found shot to death in Virginia Beach beside his pickup truck off Oceana Boulevard, not far from Atlantis nightclub, where he had attended a fundraiser hours earlier.

“The Decker family took a loss. I took a loss, too,” Turner said outside the courthouse.

Turner spoke about spending the last year and a half behind bars as he hugged family members after his release. His mother, Gloria Williams, told she told her son early on not to give up on proving his innocence. She said the case has been hard on the family, his two daughters and his sister, especially over the holidays.

“We’re a close-knit family, so not having him during birthdays, Christmases and Thanksgivings … a piece of our family was missing,” said April Turner, Turner’s sister.

Another defendant, Raymond Perry, is set to face a jury on Sept. 30.

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