One man accepted a plea and prosecutors dropped charges against another Monday in a Lake Worth attempted murder and robbery case from February. Two women say they played dead to survive the attack.
Assistant State Attorney Adriana Lopez told Circuit Judge John Kastrenakes she was dropping charges against Jeremy Mann, 25, who had been held without bail at the Palm Beach County jail for five months until another judge ordered his release earlier this month.
And Alonzo Perry Jr., the 27-year-old man the women identified as the shooter, accepted a plea to a single lesser armed aggravated battery charge, had the rest of his charges dropped and was sentenced to the 166 days he has served in jail. A third man, Donte Adams, who told deputies he was present when the shooting happened, had been expected to testify against the other two men during their trial this week and as of Monday was set to return to court in August.
Mann’s attorney, Scott Skier, said the case was problematic from the start because of the credibility of the victims, who said the men followed them from the Valor gas station on 10th Avenue and Kirk Road after noticing one of them was carrying several hundred dollars in her purse.
The women said two men later blocked their car in the 1000 block of 12th Avenue South and one of them started shooting at them, grazing one of them in the arm. The women said they pretended to be dead while one man rummaged through their belongings to take their money, and the other wiped the car down to remove their fingerprint.
Skier on Monday said even investigators in the case told him in pre-trial interviews that they doubted the women’s story, and the women also failed to appear in court despite court orders. In Mann’s case, he said, neither woman identified him as having been there.
“I think it would have been unethical for the State to do anything but dismiss the charges,” Skier said of his client afterward.
The women identified Perry and Adams, however, and Adams was further linked to the scene because he was wearing a multi-colored NASCAR jacket that one of the women had described for police.
One of the women, the one who went inside the station to pay for the gas, said one of the men approached her inside the store and asked if she and her friend wanted to “hang out.” She said he noticed the large bills in her purse after she declined his request and pulled the money out to pay for her gas.
The women said the men were in an older model Chevrolet Impala. Investigators picked up the men near John Prince Park in a white Ford F250 pick-up.
In addition to the attempted murder and robbery charges all three men faced, Mann had faced additional charges of accessory after the fact.