Murder Charge Dropped

The Jackson man charged in the city’s first murder of 2011 was released from the Madison County Jail around 5:00 p.m., Thursday. Jonique Merriweather, 29, appeared in Jackson City Court early Thursday afternoon where Judge Blake Anderson dismissed the first degree murder charge against him. Officers said they still believe Merriweather is the one who fatally shot Michael Bates, 26, of Jackson, on February 13. However, their investigation has revealed new details that did not support the first degree murder charge. “Once we became aware of this, we met with the District Attorney’s office and discussed our findings with them,” said Lt. Tyreece Miller of the Jackson Police Department. “After that, a collective decision was made that we would not proceed with first degree murder.” The charged was dismissed “without prejudice,” which means the D.A. reserves the right to reinstitute the first degree murder charge against Merriweather if deemed appropriate at a latter time. Bates was fatally shot while driving along Griffin Street in east Jackson.

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