CARLISLE — Attempted homicide charges against a Carlisle man in connection with a May 31 shooting in the borough were withdrawn earlier this month after the victim, who was injured in the incident, could not identify the shooter, authorities said.
Warren Genell Bennett II, 28, had been charged July 5 with criminal attempt of murder in the first degree, felony aggravated assault, prohibited possession of a firearm, firearm not to be carried without a license, misdemeanor simple assault and recklessly endangering the another person in connection with the shooting that injured 44-year-old James Felix Walker, of Carlisle, near North Pitt and A streets.
Cumberland County District Attorney David Freed said the victim of the shooting could not specifically identify Bennett and, “the other evidence including some physical evidence from near the scene was insufficient to support the charges.” Bennett was arrested July 4 and held on $5 million cash bail.
“Fortunately Bennett is locked up in state prison on other charges,” Freed said, referring to Bennett’s sentence to three years in state prison on unrelated gun charges.
Those gun charges stem from an incident on March 28, 2013, in which Bennett pleaded guilty on May 12, only a few weeks before the shooting near North Pitt and A streets. Bennett was sentenced in September on those charges.
The latest charges from the May 31 shooting were withdrawn Oct. 16 in a hearing before Magisterial District Judge Jessica Brewbaker.
Bennett’s attorney, Timothy Barrouk, said the charges were dropped because Bennett didn’t do it.
“From our perspective Warren has maintained his innocence throughout, and we have no doubt the reason the charges were dropped is because he didn’t do it,” he said.
Police were called to the 400 block of North Pitt Street for a man lying in the road who had been shot multiple times. Walker survived his wounds after being taken from the scene and flown by Life Lion to Penn State Hershey Medical Center for treatment. Witnesses reported two shooters, who ran off, one of them jumping over a fence and running through a back yard. Police said several items were found in the yard, including a shirt, silver handgun, baseball cap, cellphone, cigarette lighter and keychain.
Police said Bennett was developed as a suspect, a warrant was issued and he was arrested after a vehicle stop and a short foot chase.