Solicitor: York probe 'a nightmare'

YORK -- Solicitor Kevin Brackett said Monday the York Police Department botched a murder investigation, prompting officials to ask the State Law Enforcement Division to take over the probe.

Judge Michael Nettles of the 12th Circuit in Florence granted a $15,000 personal recognizance bond for accused killer Antonio Maurice Mobley, 25, of York during a hearing at the Moss Justice Center. Mobley is charged with murder in the Sept. 11 shooting death of Dawud Chester.

"The family is relieved that he's going to be released on bond," Mobley's attorney, Melvin Roberts, said after the hearing. "They look forward to having him back at home."

Roberts anticipates that Mobley will be released today.

Roberts asked Nettles to reconsider bond for Mobley -- who previously had been denied bond -- after conflicting evidence surfaced in the York Police Department's records.

At issue are two warrants that name two different gunmen in the fatal shooting of Chester, a member of the Valley Boys gang. Wounded was Lorraine Shannon, who police have said is linked to the Cali Boys, a rival gang.

"This investigation is a nightmare. I can't say that he is guilty," Brackett said, referring to Mobley. "It's pretty telling when the judge goes from no bond to you can get out on your own signature."

York Police Chief Bill Mobley said he is frustrated by Brackett's claim.

"I'm 100 percent confident that this police department will come out smelling like a rose," Mobley said. "We did the investigation. We feel like we got the right man, and we stand by that. After SLED looks into this case, we will be exonerated."

An unsigned arrest warrant was discovered as 16th Circuit Deputy Solicitor Willy Thompson read York's case file. The Sept. 11 warrant for Monquarius Duncan, 20, was marked "Void..... wrong person, per Officer Naylis."

Brackett and Thompson thought they'd stumbled on an error until they found a sworn search warrant with Duncan's name, birth date, Social Security number and nickname.

"This is not a mistake," Brackett said. "This can't just be a clerical error."

Both the arrest warrant and the search warrant state that Duncan pulled out a large-caliber pistol and shot Chester. The search warrant, signed by a judge and Officer Dale Edwards, states that the shooting was witnessed by several individuals.

"We've gotten conflicting stories," Brackett said. "Nobody has been able to say who these witnesses are and none are documented in the file."

Brackett continued: "The evidence is clear. One man shot Dawud Chester, but the city of York Police Department has sworn affidavits issued at two different times that accuse two different people of being that shooter."

Chief Mobley explained that an anonymous 911 phone call alerted police that Duncan had a .357 pistol at the scene. "There was some information that came in that gave Duncan as a possible shooter," he said. "We acted on that information."

Officials drew up an arrest warrant for Duncan, he said. But later in the investigation, Antonio Mobley became the sole suspect, he said.

"The warrant was never signed," Chief Mobley said, referring to the warrant for Duncan. "It was never processed. Instead of tearing the warrant up, it was put in the file."

A second arrest warrant, issued days later, states that Antonio Mobley removed his .45-caliber weapon and shot Chester in the back. The warrant states that he had the gun at the scene. The incident report states the gun fell out of his pocket.

Officials later found shell casings at the scene, according to the warrant.

The alleged murder weapon has not been recovered. Police arrested Duncan and Mobley. Mobley was charged with murder. Duncan was arrested on previous charges.

Nettles gave Duncan a $35,000 bond and a 6 p.m. curfew, while Mobley remained in jail.

Roberts said the discovery of the warrant for Duncan "weakens the case against Antonio." Roberts, who also represents Duncan, said Duncan hasn't been accused in the killing.

Roberts previously said in court that Lorraine Shannon, who was shot in his ankle and calf during the shooting, did not name Mobley or Duncan as the man who shot him.

"Whoever shot him also shot Dawud Chester because the two bullets -- one out of Shannon and one out of Chester -- came from the same gun, according to ballistic reports," Roberts said

SLED is expected to take the case over by mid-week, officials said.