CHARLOTTE AMALIE, Virgin Islands, Oct. 28 (UPI) -- A judge in the U.S. Virgin Islands Thursday in mid-trial tossed murder and other counts against a federal agent who said he killed a neighbor in self-defense.
After the prosecution rested its case against Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent Will Clark, the judge granted a defense motion to dismiss all charges against Clark, WHEC-TV, Buffalo, N.Y., reported.
The motion to dismiss was based on a technicality that the proper procedure was not followed in identifying the body of the shooting victim, the TV station said.
Clark, 35, who now lives in Rochester, had been charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter and criminal possession of a weapon in the fatal shooting of Marcus Sukow.
U.S. Rep. Chris Lee, R-N.Y., an ardant supporter of Clark's, said after the dismissal that "justice was served," The Buffalo (N.Y.) News reported.
"As I have said from the beginning, Will is a hero, not a murderer, and I'm so grateful the judge looked at the facts of the case and agreed," Lee said. "Our law enforcement officers need to know that they will not be prosecuted for taking lawful actions to protect the innocent, whether they are on duty or off."
Clark was off-duty when he shot Sukow, who was naked, angry, under the influence of alcohol and drugs, and wielding an 18-inch metal flashlight when he approached Clark, who had intervened in a fight between Sukow and Sukow's girlfriend, Maguerite Duncan, outside their Virgin Islands condominium on the morning of Sept. 7, 2008.