Jul 21, 2011 9:23 AM by Lauren Wilson & AP

Prosecutor drops 3 murder charges against man

BENTON, La. (AP) - Bossier Parish District Attorney Schuyler Marvin has dismissed the three-count first-degree murder indictment against Gerald Needham, 39.
The Bossier City man remained jailed on a federal charge of possessing ammunition after a felony conviction. Police found bullets while searching Needham's home after his arrest in April for the triple shooting at a Bossier City appliance store.
Marvin sent the clerk of court and sheriff a letter dismissing the murder indictment on Wednesday, one day after saying he wouldn't do so.
"We are very happy the right thing was done," Pam Smart, chief of the Bossier Parish Indigent Defender's office, said Wednesday.
Added Needham's lead counsel Randal Fish: "Although they say justice delayed is justice denied, I think this is pretty sweet anyway."
Witness descriptions of the gunman resembled Needham. But bullet casings from a shooting after his arrest matched those at the store where Bill Norris, 77, Jesse Burk, 58, and Harold Arnett, 66, were killed, and cellphone records indicate he was in Shreveport at the time of the murders.
Robert Clark, 32, of Shreveport, has been booked with armed robbery and other charges in the Haughton shooting where .45-caliber bullet casings were found that matched the ones found in Norris' store.
The semiautomatic weapon, was stolen in early April from the vehicle of a Shreveport strip club where Clark worked part time as a bouncer. Cellular phone records indicated that Clark's phone was in the area of both shootings.
Needham's initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Shreveport happened about the same time Marvin sent his letter. Needham has a federal detention hearing Monday.


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