Prosecutors drop Barry stalking case

July 9, 2009 at 5:57 PM
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WASHINGTON, July 9 (UPI) -- Prosecutors in Washington announced stalking charges will not be pursued against Marion Barry, a D.C. Council member and former mayor of the capital.

Barry, 73, was arrested Saturday on charges of misdemeanor stalking brought by his ex-girlfriend, Donna Watts-Brighthaupt, 40, The Washington Times reported Thursday.

"Following a review of the evidence relating to stalking allegations against Marion Barry and a careful analysis of the relevant factors, including the elements of the offense and the strengths and weaknesses of the evidence, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia has decided not to pursue stalking charges in this matter," the U.S. attorney's office said in a statement late Wednesday.

Natalie Williams, a spokeswoman for Barry, described Watts-Brighthaupt as mentally unstable and said the woman is in the care of a mental health professional, the report said. Watts-Brighthaupt has denied the claims.

Sgt. David Schlosser, a spokesman for the U.S. Park Police, which arrested Barry Saturday, defended the auction after the U.S. attorney's office announcement.

"Sufficient probable cause was developed on July 4 to arrest Marion Barry. After consultation with the U.S. attorney's office a charge of stalking was placed. The U.S. attorney's office has declined to pursue it further," he said.

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