Many often complain about what they perceive as too many criminal cases getting dismissed by the district attorney’s office.
This year, two cases gave us a closer look at a couple of reasons why a case could be dismissed.
In one case, two men were charged with first-degree rape and were facing potentially decades-long prison sentences. However, one day when they arrived at the calendar call in Haywood County Superior Court, they found out the charges were dismissed.
The reason is that neither prosecutors nor police could figure out where the victim was, despite attempts over a long period of time to reach her.
“Despite numerous attempts, including traveling out-of-state and working with other law enforcement agencies, the alleged victim has disappeared and cannot be located,” the dismissal in that case reads.
The other case that was dismissed was against a known large-scale methamphetamine trafficker named Christopher Best, who had numerous charges pending against him in Haywood County. However, after being tried, convicted and sentenced to about 15 years in federal prison after being arrested in Georgia, District Attorney Ashley Welch decided to not pursue his case in Haywood.
“We do have some other pretty serious matters that have been calendared already, and we’re not going to bump those,” Welch said after Best’s arrest in Georgia.
“We decided 15 years would be sufficient,” she said after choosing to dismiss the charges. “We can always bring it back later, but you’re talking about 15 years in federal custody. He’s out of the community, and that was our goal all along.”