By DON O'BRIEN
Herald-Whig Staff Writer
A Quincy man awaiting trial for his role in a New Year's Day shooting walked out of the Adams County Jail a free man Wednesday.
Antonio D. Edwards, 29, was scheduled to go on trial Monday on aggravated battery with a firearm and aggravated discharge of a firearm start in Adams County Circuit Court. However, charges were dropped by the Adams County State's Attorney's Office after efforts failed to serve subpoenas on the two men who allegedly were shot.
"The way events have transpired with regards to the difficulty of serving subpoenas to the alleged victims is frustrating," State's Attorney Jon Barnard said. "It's a challenge, but it is not at all unusual. Let's just say that when there is some prior history among the combatants, cooperation with law enforcement is not a constant."
After spending 125 days in jail after his Jan. 3 arrest, Edwards' case was finished in a matter of minutes Wednesday afternoon. Judge William Mays last week had given the prosecution until Wednesday to let the court know if the men who were shot had been successfully served subpoenas so that they could testify.
"We have had subpoenas out for 90 days for our material witnesses," First Assistant State's Attorney Gary Farha told Judge Scott Walden, who presided over Wednesday's hearing. "The victims moved to Chicago, and we've been unable to serve them. We are asking that the defendant be released from custody."
Edwards had been held in jail on a $250,000 bond. He had pleaded not guilty to his charges after a Jan. 22 preliminary hearing in his case. Charges could be filed again at a later date should the prosecution get the cooperation of its witnesses.
Edwards was alleged to have shot brothers Carl Muldrow, 30, and Vernardo Muldrow, 25, at a residence in the 600 block of College. Quincy police said the shooting occurred after an incident at the Casino StarLite nightclub earlier that night. The shooting happened around 4:30 a.m.
Three shots were fired during the incident, with the gunman standing outside the residence and shooting into a kitchen, police said. One shot went through Carl Muldrow's left thigh and another shot lodged in Vernardo Muldrow's left calf. The third shot went through a table and a wall, winding up in a bathroom. Three casings were found in the backyard of the residence. Police said a .45-caliber handgun was used.
Five adults and seven or eight children were in the residence at the time of the shooting, police said. The Muldrows were treated and released from Blessing Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Edwards, who faced up to 30 years in prison on his charges, was on parole from the Illinois Department of Corrections at the time of the shooting. He was sent to prison for 10 years in February 2010 after pleading guilty to pistol-whipping a Quincy man on Feb. 26, 2009 during an altercation in the 600 block of South Eighth.