Tulsa Murder Suspect Released After Witness Fails To Show
TULSA, Oklahoma - Charges have been dropped against a Tulsa man charged with murder because the witness against him could not be found, according to court documents.
Galon Brown was one of Tulsa's Most Wanted before he turned himself into police in August.
He was charged in the death of Julian Leonard Harris. Harris was shot to death outside the Windsor Village Apartment complex near 51st and Yale on July 12, 2015. Police said Harris had been visiting the apartment complex, got into a fight with Brown then was shot as he drove away.
Tulsa Homicide Sergeant David Walker said reluctant witnesses are a frustrating - and not uncommon - problem in law enforcement.
"In this case, like many others, the witnesses failed to do their civic duty by coming forward immediately with information," said Tulsa Homicide Sergeant David Walker.
"We have to hunt them down and expend a lot of investigative time in getting the witnesses to tell the truth."
The detective said it's unfortunate to be an eyewitness to a terrible event, but not testifying can have far-reaching consequences should that person harm someone else.
"We talk to these witnesses at the time about what a great service they are doing by coming forward, albeit reluctantly," Walker said. "Then they go back to the environment that led them to be witnesses in the first place."
The detective said he did not know what the long-term solution is, but that anyone who kills another person needs to have his or her day in court.
Charges of assault and battery with a deadly weapon and being a felon in possession of a firearm were also dismissed Friday when the witness could not be located. Brown is a convicted felon who served time for drug-related charges.
He was released from custody, court records show.