Local News

Man to be cleared on 3-year-old murder charge

Posted September 18, 2009 5:03 p.m. EDT

— Robeson County authorities said Friday that they plan to dismiss a murder charge in a 2006 shooting death because the accused man's gun turned out not to be the murder weapon.

Cagney Terrel Freeman, 25, was charged with first-degree murder in the Dec. 26, 2006, death of Jeffrey Todd McGirt. Authorities said McGirt was killed in a drive-by shooting while sitting near a bonfire on Riley Drive in Lumberton.

Freeman told authorities that he had shot into the neighborhood that night in self-defense, and he turned over a .40-caliber handgun to investigators.

Evidence in the case was backlogged at a State Bureau of Investigation lab since early 2007, but an SBI ballistics report that was recently completed showed McGirt was killed by a .22-caliber bullet. No matching weapon has been found.

Prosecutors said they plan to request Monday that the murder charge against Freeman be dismissed. He still faces a charge of discharging a weapon into occupied property in the incident.