Oglesby Plans To Retry Murder Case After Mistrial

SNOW HILL — It remains uncertain just who shot and killed a Pocomoke man last December after the prime suspect’s trial in Worcester County Circuit Court last week ended in a mistrial.

For three days last week, a Worcester County jury listened closely as prosecutors attempted to build a first-degree murder case against Skylor Harmon, 19, of Pocomoke, accused of shooting and killing Reginald Handy on Laurel Street last May. After deliberating for four hours last Thursday, the jury told Circuit Court Judge Thomas C. Groton it could not deliver a unanimous verdict and a mistrial was declared.

State’s Attorney Beau Oglesby said this week his office planned to re-file charges against Harmon, who is still being detained.

Last week’s mistrial adds a new wrinkle to what has already been a confusing case. Last May 27, Pocomoke Police responded to reports of gunfire in the area of Laurel Street. Officers arrived and found a victim, Reginald Handy, also of Pocomoke, had been shot several times from behind. Handy was taken to PRMC in Salisbury where he was pronounced dead.

According to police reports, a witness observed an unknown man approach Handy and exchange words with the victim. The verbal altercation turned deadly when the still unknown suspect fired a handgun several times at Handy, striking him in the back, while firing additional shots at another man, later identified as Torrance Davis, who was not struck.

The Worcester County Bureau of Investigation (WCBI) arrived on the scene and began to piece together what happened from witness testimony. The investigation led to the identification of a possible suspect, Alexander Crippen, 36, of Pocomoke, who was later found in a Delaware motel room under a different name.

Last June, a Worcester County grand jury indicted Crippen on first-degree murder charges for the shooting death of Handy and attempted murder charges for the shots fired against Davis.

Last November, however, ballistic evidence excluded Crippen as the suspect who fired the shot that killed Handy and the first-degree murder charges against him were dropped. However, the attempted first-degree murder charges against Crippen for the shots fired at Davis proceeded to trial and he was found guilty last December. He was sentenced in April to life in prison, all but 25 years of which were then suspended.

After the ballistic evidence cleared Crippen of firing the shot that killed Handy, detectives focused their attention on Harmon, who was Crippen’s nephew and had also been placed at the scene of the shooting by witnesses. Harmon was formally charged with first-degree murder and he was soon picked up after a massive manhunt across the south end of Worcester County last fall.

Last week, Harmon’s trial went on for three days in Circuit Court in Snow Hill before the jury was handed the case. Witnesses placed Harmon at the scene of the shooting, but could not say for sure if they saw him fire a weapon at the victim. After deliberating for about four hours, the jury informed the judge they could not reach a unanimous decision on a verdict and a mistrial was declared.

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