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Many Express Surprise After Charges Dropped

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Edwin Lawing
RALEIGH — It seemed prosecutors had a fool-proof caseagainst the North Carolina State student accused of killing his pregnantgirlfriend and leaving her body in the woods. Now, charges of the first-degree murder of Shaw student LaCoy McQueen have been droppedagainst Edwin Lawing.

Despite blood and circumstantial evidence and a strong motive,police and prosecutors say they simply didn't have the evidence theyneeded. They are apparently, however, either unable or reluctant toexplain what happened since the arrest to lead to the dismissal.

Yolanda Elias was a friend of the victim. She said she is verysurprised at this latest development.

Lynn Jackson, another friend, says she's confused by this turn ofevents and would like to know what happened.

It is very rare for first-degree murder charges to bedropped. ProsecutorEvelyn Hill would not be specific about why no evidence waspresented at the probable cause hearing, but did say there will likelybe more to come in this case.

Prosecutors say they are still gathering evidence and thatLawing is still the only suspect. Hill says she wants to make sure heroffice 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 willnow have to put his life back together.

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