Murder charges dropped after witness is a "no-show"

Jerry Scott, Source: Cincinnati Police Department
Jerry Scott, Source: Cincinnati Police Department

By Stefano DiPietrantonio – bio |email|Facebook

ROSELAWN, OH (FOX19) - "We're gonna fight, we're not gonna let 'em off the hook," said Ehling Burroughs. "The Burroughs family, we all in, we all in."

The father, who lost his son to a shooting at Club Ritz in Roselawn last May, vows to keep on fighting, even after the case got thrown out of court Monday.

Valentines Day last year, three people were shot outside the club. There have been two other fatal shootings there in the past decade.

The victim's family, however, plans to get justice for their son and get the controversial club shut-down for good.

The Prosecution could not get a key witness to speak up. We spoke with the victim, 21-year-old Dexter Burroughs father, Ehling on the phone, about what happened.

While he said he's upset, he is even more determined to get answers.

He wants everyone connected to this case to know, he is not going away any time soon.

All charges have been dropped against 20-year-old Jerry Scott. who was charged in connection to the shooting death, for now, said the victim's father.

"The case is going to be re-filed," Burroughs said. That is his vow.

"We're not gonna let it go," he said. "We're gonna keep the pressure on 'em, we're not gonna let 'em off the hook. We all in."

Burroughs said they will get witnesses to step forward and do the right thing.

"We are gonna get witnesses that have a backbone," he said. "There's no doubt in my mind."

We asked him if the witnesses are being intimidated?

"To us it's obvious," Burroughs said. "Someone's doing something."

He said the witnesses changed their minds the day-of trial Monday.

"I know one of them said, I'd rather go to prison, than tell," Burroughs said.

Without the Prosecution's key witness, they had no choice.

"The matter was dismissed without prejudice for want of prosecution," said Julie Wilson with the Hamilton County Prosecutor's Office. "Because of lack of witness cooperation."

Wilson could not get into specifics about why the witnesses had failed to show.

"I'm sure if I'm the father or mother of the victim, they're not happy about this I'm quite sure," Wilson said.

She said they've had this happen on several big cases recently.

"it's very frustrating for prosecutors, for police officers," she said. "I'm sure for victims and their families, when people won't cooperate, so it's definitely a problem."

The shooting happened last May at the Roselawn club, while hundreds of people were inside.

"I want City Council, the City of Cincinnati, I want the Mayor, I want the Cincinnati Police," Burroughs said. "We need help out here."

That was Ehling Burroughs, the day after his son was shot and killed.

"I have not slept since this happened," he admits. "You wake-up in the middle of the night, you don't sleep because it's always on your mind."

The City shut the club down for a few weeks, as the owners ramped-up their security systems.

Burroughs says the name of the club may have changed, it has since re-opened as "Club Aqua", but nothing about it has changed.

"I want the Mayor and City Council to deal with it," he stated emphatically. "They're gonna have to because I'm not going away, I'm will be right there!"

Burroughs said he and his family need closure. They need answers.

He said he is confident they will get a solid witness to take the stand. And he added, it's not about justice for him or his son, but for the baby daughter Dexter Burroughs left behind.

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