LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Four men who were accused of shooting and killing a woman on Poplar Level Road had their charges dropped after it was discovered they were not involved.
Four men were arrested in the immediate aftermath of the shooting on Sunday night that left a man injured as well. Marcus Vester, Steven Curtis, Zaman Taylor and Deron Perkins were all charged with murder but have now been released from jail after police say they received new information about the case Tuesday. Their charges have been dropped.
"Once it was determined this information contradicted what was discovered in the early onset of the investigation, the Homicide Unit began working with the Commonwealth and County Attorney’s Offices to ensure charges were immediately dismissed," LMPD spokesman Dwight Mitchell said in an email.
Officers were called to East Indian Trail and Lodema Way, not far from Poplar Level Road, on a reported shooting just after 7:45 p.m Sunday. On scene, officers found a male and a woman who had both been shot. The woman has been identified as 36-year-old Tana L. Hillman. The male victim has not yet been identified.
According to attorney Ron Aslam, who represents Vester, LMPD officers mistakenly tried to pull over the wrong car shortly after the shooting. The arrest report for Vester said that all four men ran from police when they tried to pull them over.
Vester told WDRB he ran because he was scared.
"I heard gun shots and I just blanked out just trying to get to anywhere safe," he said.
Surveillance video from a store's security camera near the location of the shooting showed a different vehicle was involved. Attorneys handed that footage to police, and the charges were dismissed.
"I'm just glad when they did their follow up investigation, in whatever part we helped out with that, they made the right call and they made it as quickly as possible," attorney Nick Neumann said.
Vester, from California, said he was in Louisville to shoot a music video. He said he was not involved in the shooting and does not know the victims.
"I want to send my condolences out to whoever family died or whatever happened. I ain't got nothing to do with it, I just want y'all to know that," Vester said. "Nobody with me had nothing to do with it, we was just in the wrong place at the wrong time pretty much."
The four men were released from Metro Corrections Wednesday, but their reputations have been tarnished. Vester says it didn't take long for him to be recognized in public.
"I just got out and bought a pack of cigarettes and people calling me a murderer ... in the gas station right now," Vester said.
Aslam said the situation shows the power of a criminal accusation, social media and the internet.
"The internet is forever," Aslam said. "These articles about the story, the mug shots ... they're going to be there whether or not the criminal justice system has done its job and cleared them of any wrongdoing. And that's going to be forever."
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