Charges set aside for men accused in shooting death of one-year-old girl

Charges set aside for men accused in shooting death of one-year-old girl
Jaidah Morris was shot on Oct. 10, 2017, in the 500 block of Fayette Avenue around 2:30 a.m. (Source: Morris Family)

HENRICO Co., Va. (WWBT) - A four-day trial scheduled to start Tuesday for a Henrico man charged in connection to a deadly shooting of a one-year-old girl in 2017 has been postponed after charges were set aside.

The Henrico Commonwealth’s Attorney, Shannon Taylor, said last week her agency made a motion to “nolle pros” (not prosecute right now) Derick Lamond Walton Jr., 21, in connection to the shooting death of Jaidah Morris. Morris was shot on Oct. 10, 2017, in the 500 block of Fayette Avenue around 2:30 a.m.

When police arrived at the scene, they found Morris and a 20-year-old man both suffering from life-threatening gunshot wounds. Morris died at the hospital. Walton was arrested in July 2019 in connection to this crime.

In a statement provided Tuesday, Taylor said in part:

“The prosecutor, Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Toni Randall, presented to the Court that we were having some witness issues in light of the not guilty verdict from the week before. Such is a possibility with two cases set so close together because of trial deadlines.”

On Oct. 9, Walton was acquitted of all six charges in connection to a shooting that injured a five-year-old girl and an adult man in 2019.

“This also gives the Commonwealth an opportunity to reset," Taylor added. "We get only one opportunity to present a case to trial to hold those who we believe are responsible accountable, and if we think there are some other aspects of the case that need to be revisited, then we owe it to the family and to Jaidah to do it right and give the absolute best effort.”

As for when the Commonwealth could move forward with future charges, Taylor said there is no time limit when dealing with felonies.

In Nov. 2019, the charges for Byron Archer III, who was also charged in connection to the 2017 shooting, were also set aside or “nol prossed.”

Since there are no active cases against Walton and Archer they are not being held in the Henrico County Jail system.

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