Prosecutors have dismissed a murder charge against a teenager accused of riding a moped over to a man's house and shooting him.
Danny Harden-Bolton, 16, now will go through juvenile court on accessory charges after the murder case collapsed against him.
Harden-Bolton had faced the possibility of 20 years to life in prison if convicted of second-degree murder. Now, he likely will go to an out-of-state group home. Juvenile court will lose jurisdiction of Harden-Bolton when he turns 19.
Harden-Bolton was 15 when, police say, he and a then-13-year-old rode down the street from a June 2014 sleepover at the 13-year-old's house at 3345 Spaulding St.
The two teens arrived at a house at 3482 Spaulding St., where one of them confronted Brandon Wallace, a 23-year-old who graduated in 2009 from Northwest High School.
The then-13-year-old, Armani Brown, cooperated with authorities but told police varying stories of how the shooting went down. He said he had hopped off the moped and run away from the scene before Harden-Bolton opened fire.
He also gave varying motives for the shooting: that Harden-Bolton thought Wallace was a snitch; that Harden-Bolton wanted to rob Wallace; and that Harden-Bolton was attempting to trade rolling papers for marijuana from Wallace.
No one saw the shooting, which occurred in the middle of the afternoon. But the case had a host of problems with neighbors' versions of the person or people they saw fleeing from the shooting scene.
Asked which person was on the moped, some gave a description of clothing that matched what Harden-Bolton was wearing. Others' description of clothing matched what Brown was wearing.
One of the witnesses died of natural causes in the year since the case was charged. Another witness had a stroke.
Douglas County Public Defender Tom Riley had planned to suggest that Brown was the shooter, pointing out that the gun was hidden in Brown's house. A cousin of Brown's admitted that he wiped off the gun after it was brought back because he was afraid that all five of the teenagers' prints would be on it. They had been passing around the gun during a sleepover the night before the shooting.
Douglas County Juvenile Court Judge Elizabeth Crnkovich set sentencing for November. Crnkovich indicated that Harden-Bolton likely will have to be placed at a group home out of state because Nebraska doesn't have facilities to serve youths facing such serious charges.