Charges dismissed in Goose Creek murder, victim’s father vows to keep case alive

GOOSE CREEK, SC (WCSC) - Two people named last year as suspects in a fatal Goose Creek shooting will not go to trial, prosecutors say.

Murder charges were dismissed Nov. 7 against Tracy Grant and Christopher Smith III, the Ninth Circuit Solicitor's Office said Tuesday.

Grant and Smith were arrested in November 2016 for the shooting death of 20-year-old Nicholas Valentine.

The Berkeley County Sheriff's Office says Valentine was shot while sitting in a car at an apartment complex on Pineshadow Drive. Deputies say a woman who was in the car with Valentine was wounded by the gunfire.

Last month, prosecutors called Paul Valentine, the victim's father, to give him the news. Valentine said Tuesday he was devastated to hear the charges were dismissed and plans to continue to seek justice for his son.

In an email Tuesday, Assistant Solicitor Wilton McNeely said the murder charges were dropped because the surviving victim gave a very weak and conflicting story of who she believed was the shooter.

McNeely also said shell casings recovered from the crime scene support only one shooter. He said no other physical or witness evidence connected Grant or Smith to the crime.

A request for information about the status from the Berkeley County Sheriff's Office was not immediately answered.

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