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Charges dropped against man in Durham teen's death, prosecutors blame slow lab work

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DURHAM, North Carolina — Prosecutors have dropped a murder charge against a man arrested in the shooting death of a Durham teen more than two years ago.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reported (http://bit.ly/PeFM4D) that prosecutors dismissed the charges against 21-year-old Brandon Shamar Townsend on Monday.

Acting District Attorney Leon Stanback says the charge was dropped because he had not gotten DNA results back from the State Bureau of Investigation.

Townsend has been held nearly two years in the drive-by shooting death of 13-year-old Shakanah China.

Stanback says he'll refile the charge against Townsend if DNA indicates that he killed the girl.

The girl was shot in what police say was crossfire in gang warfare near her home May 10, 2011.

Townsend has said he was elsewhere when the girl was killed.


Information from: The News & Observer, http://www.newsobserver.com

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