YORK -- Prosecutors have dismissed a murder charge against a Charlotte man who had been accused in the shooting death of his girlfriend.
The murder charge against Kenward Anthony Roscoe, 29, was dismissed Friday, said 16th Circuit Solicitor Kevin Brackett. Roscoe was accused of killing 26-year-old Amanda Rea Beaty, who was found shot to death on her front porch in July; Roscoe was charged with murder in October.
"The murder charge was dismissed due to insufficient evidence at this time," Brackett said after court on Friday. "If further evidence develops in the case, we can revisit."
During court Friday, Roscoe pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice in the case. Judge Lee Alford handed down a 10-year sentence suspended to six years. Roscoe will be on probation for five years after his release, Brackett said.
Roscoe was represented by 16th Circuit Public Defender Harry Dest, who could not be reached for comment Friday night.
Roscoe's charges stem from a shooting that happened on July 29 at 474 Cummings St. in Rock Hill. Interim York County Coroner Sabrina Gast previously told The Herald that Beaty had gunshot wounds "everywhere."
Police said Roscoe gave conflicting stories during three interviews about the shooting. A police report notes Roscoe was inside the house during the shooting. Officials later determined Roscoe and Beaty were on the front porch when the shooting happened.
"It looks suspicious, but there has to be concrete evidence to point to him," Brackett said Friday.
Witnesses reported seeing a white car in the area during the shooting, according to the report. Rock Hill Police Capt. John Thickens previously told The Herald that several men in a mid-1990s Ford Taurus sat in front of Beaty's home, but shots were not fired from the car.
"The car pulling away is part of the problem in confusing the case," Brackett said. "Who are these guys? We don't have all the answers."
Brackett said one other aspect played a role in dismissing the murder charge.
"There's evidence that the victim was involved with drug dealers," he said. "There's evidence that she owed them money. All these factors weigh into our analysis of the case as to whether or not we can satisfy the jury as to Kenward Roscoe's guilt."
Rock Hill Police Lt. Jerry Waldrop said he couldn't comment on Roscoe's dismissed murder charge on Friday.
However, Brackett said, Beaty's family and the lead detective from the police department reviewed the case and agreed with the outcome.
"We are still concerned with making sure her killer is brought to justice," he said.
Before Roscoe's initial arrest, his criminal record showed only a driving violation, according to the State Law Enforcement Division.
Roscoe remained in custody Friday night at the York County Detention Center. He will be transferred to a state prison at a later date.
Anyone with information about Amanda Rea Beaty's shooting death or the white Ford Taurus witnesses said was at the scene can call the Rock Hill Police Department at 329-7200 or CrimeStoppers of York County at 1-877-409-4321.