YORK, Pa. — Prosecutors have dropped homicide charges against one of two brothers in a Pennsylvania slaying that authorities say stemmed from a look that was perceived as disrespectful.
York County prosecutors withdrew charges against 35-year-old Juan Castro-Oquendo during a preliminary hearing for the brothers Friday, saying a key witness wasn’t appearing.
A charge of conspiracy to commit homicide was also withdrawn against 31-year-old Jose Castro-Oquendo, but a criminal homicide charge against him was held for county court. Defense attorney Seamus Dubbs declined comment after the hearing.
Authorities had alleged that the brothers attacked 22-year-old Lester Cortes-Cotto on July 9 after the younger brother felt “disrespected” by a look from him. Police say a gun pulled from the victim’s waistband was fired during the struggle, and he died from “multiple sharp-force injuries.”