Many Express Surprise After Charges Dropped
Posted May 5, 1997
RALEIGH — It seemed prosecutors had a fool-proof case against the North Carolina State student accused of killing his pregnant girlfriend and leaving her body in the woods. Now, charges of the first-degree murder of Shaw student LaCoy McQueen have been dropped against Edwin Lawing.
Despite blood and circumstantial evidence and a strong motive, police and prosecutors say they simply didn't have the evidence they needed. They are apparently, however, either unable or reluctant to explain what happened since the arrest to lead to the dismissal.
Yolanda Elias was a friend of the victim. She said she is very surprised at this latest development.
Lynn Jackson, another friend, says she's confused by this turn of events and would like to know what happened.
It is very rare for first-degree murder charges to be dropped. Prosecutor Evelyn Hill would not be specific about why no evidence was presented at the probable cause hearing, but did say there will likely be more to come in this case.
Prosecutors say they are still gathering evidence and that Lawing is still the only suspect. Hill says she wants to make sure her office is fully prepared before they go further.
Lawing's attorney says Lawing is innocent and that the law now agrees. He says Lawing spent six weeks in jail, lost a semester in school and will now have to put his life back together.