HOT SPRINGS (AP) – Relatives of a homicide victim say they are distraught after learning that murder charges have been dismissed against the defendant in the Fall River County case because a key witness was found to be incompetent to testify.
Moses Dubray was found fatally shot in January 2017 a day after he walked away from a minimum-security prison in Rapid City where he had served time for burglary.
Thirty-year-old Thomas Lucero was indicted eight months later for first-degree murder and an alternate second-degree murder charge, the Rapid City Journal reported.
Lucero was also indicted on an aggravated assault charge for allegedly using a gun to assault someone the same day Dubray was killed.
“It just sucks that there’s going to be no justice for my brother,” the victim's sister, Irene “Jay R” Mabin, said through tears. “I wanted to know what exactly happened.”
Mabin said prosecutors told her the case was dropped because the assault victim, who is the key witness, has been deemed mentally incompetent.
Mabin said she and other family members were ready to testify and feel the prosecutors had enough evidence to proceed without the main witness.
Assistant Attorney General Scott Roetzel says the state hopes to refile charges if the key witness “becomes available.”
“This man is a dangerous man” and I will “pray for the next family he hurts,” Mabin said about Lucero. He remains behind bars on a robbery conviction from Minnehaha County. Lucero is eligible for parole in January.