Robert Crowder was released from jail Friday when Judge Rhonda Winston granted prosecutors’ request to dismiss his case without prejudice. He had been held for more than nine months on suspicion of first-degree felony murder in connection with the stabbing death of 19-year-old Kelvin Jamal Willis.
In April, Crowder’s two codefendants were released after prosecutors dismissed charges against them.
Spokesperson William Miller explained via email that the U.S. Attorney’s Office decided not to go forward with the case, pending further investigation.
According to charging documents for Crowder, Willis told detectives that he was punched and attacked by three people who took his wallet before stabbing him with a knife on November 6, 2010.
A person who saw the stabbing told police that Crowder and two other men were walking with Willis in the unit block of Hanover Street Northwest when the men started talking about robbing Willis of his coat, according to arrest documents. One man punched Willis in his chin, while another pointed a gun at Willis demanding his coat, said the witness.
While Willis took off his coat, Crowder told him, “You’re taking too long,” then stabbed him multiple times, according to the witness.
Court documents state that another person later saw Crowder carrying a black coat, and after, saw Crowder washing blood from his hands. When the witness asked Crowder where he got the coat, Crowder said that he stabbed someone and believed that he killed the person, the witness told police.
In an interview with police, Crowder said he was never near the scene of the crime, documents say.