PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Charges have been dismissed against one of the two men accused in a quadruple homicide in Portsmouth earlier this year.
40-year-old Antwann Jacque Gore was previously charged with four counts of aggravated murder. He was arrested in late September.
During his court hearing Wednesday, a judge dismissed charges citing a lack of evidence to hold Gore. Only one witness identified Gore as the suspect.
Michael Canty appeared in an orange Chesapeake Jail jumpsuit as a witness for the Commonwealth. He initially was not going to appear before the judge, but that changed after he was granted bond for unrelated charges.
Canty’s credibility was called into question by the defense attorney team due to inconsistencies in his account of the shooting and physical description of Gore.
Two months after the shooting, Canty spoke with investigators while in jail for unrelated charges. He told investigators that he saw two men go toward the home and shoot a woman who opened the door.
At first, he told investigators the shooter was “a young dude.” Then, he told investigators “it was Twan.” He had already told the judge that he had known Gore for years. Gore called Canty “a professional snitch,” and insinuated that Canty testified because he stood to benefit from doing so.
10 On Your Side spoke with Don Scott, Gore’s attorney, after the hearing.
“I think the judge listened to the testimony, and the testimony changed. A few times,” Scott said. “The identity that he made didn’t match up. He said the person that he made had short dreads, our guy had dreads down his back. In some instances he said he didn’t see, and in some instances he said he did see. We can go on and on about the inconsistencies, but at the end of the day justice was served.”
30-year-old Georgio Davonta Lee, 37-year-old Oleisha Deanna Mears and 34-year-old Ashley Merricks were pronounced dead the day of the shooting on Maple Avenue on June 7. The fourth victim, 66-year-old Samuel Jones, died days later.
Police said all of the victims were staying at the house where the shooting happened.
A police officer who responded to the residence the morning of the shooting also appeared before the judge. The officer said he found Sam Jones suffering from gunshot wounds. Before Jones died, he told officers that two young black men had entered the home and started firing. Jones said he didn’t know the men.
“It’s up to our local law enforcement, our Commonwealth’s Attorneys to go back and get the right person,” Scott said.
Gore’s cousin said he was wrongfully accused.
“It’s been very hard. It’s been very hard on his daughters and it’s been very hard on us because we knew that he didn’t do anything like that,” she said. “To be wrongfully accused and all over the news and sat in jail- that was wrong. So they owe him an apology.”
57-year-old Raymond Gore, Antwan’s uncle, was arrested in late August. He faces four counts of the following: aggravated murder of multiple persons, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony and assault: shoot, stab. etc. in the commission of a felony.
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