In a dramatic turn of events in the notorious Victoria Lindsay teen gang beating case, three of the eight teen age defendants in the case had all charges against them dropped and the prosecutor has no additional plans to charge them further.
Victoria Lindsay is a 16-year-old Lakeland, Florida, cheerleader that was ambushed by a gang of her classmates and severely beaten until she lost consciousness. Once she regained consciousness, she was beaten again.
Lindsay suffered a concussion, eye and ear damage along with bruises and lacerations and recurring nightmares about the beating. The startling part about the entire incident was that the defendants had filmed the beating so they could post it on YouTube and MySpace.
Polk County prosecutors dropped charges against the three defendants because of insufficient evidence against them. The three were Cara Murphy, 16, Zachary Ashley, 17, and Stephen Schumaker, 18.
When the eight defendants were initially arrested, the Polk County Sheriff’s office had stated that Ashley and Schumaker had stood guard outside the site of the attack, which was the home of Mary Nichols, the grandmother of defendant Mercades Nichols, who lived with her grandmother. Lindsay was living with Nichols and her grandmother at the time of the attack.
The Sheriff’s office had also initially stated that Murphy, the single female defendant whose charges were dropped, was the teen filming the beating. A female voice can be heard on the video from behind the scenes saying, “Ooh, yeah, baby. Ooh, yeah!” The Sheriff’s office had stated that voice was none other than defendant Cara Murphy. Watch the original video released by the Sheriff’s office.
The Sheriff had also stated early on that it was Murphy’s voice on the video letting the other girls know that the video was running out of film. “Seventeen seconds left,” the voice said while the beating continued. “Make it good.” Watch the second video released by the Sheriff’s office.
Neither the Sheriff’s office nor the prosecutor gave any indication why charges against the three were dropped other than lack of evidence. Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd had even said early on in the case that one of the boys stuck his head in from outside and told the girls to quiet down because neighbors were able to hear the fight.
Why the evidence against Murphy and the two male defendants had evaporated remains a mystery, although Murphy’s attorney has said that she has agreed to testify against the other defendants.
Usually prosecuting attorneys strike deals with a single defendant to testify against other defendants in exchange for a lesser charge or perhaps charges being dropped altogether.
It is unknown whether any deal was struck in this case although it certainly seems like one was.
Said Cara Murphy after the charges against her were dropped, “I guess I’m sorry for all that happened. I’m glad the charges got dropped though.”
Murphy said that she never realized that the incident would turn into a national controversy. After she apologized to Victoria Lindsay, the victim, on the air but not in person, Murphy admitted she could have done more to stop the beating.
“During the time I definitely can say I felt scared for her. Once I saw the video, I realized this was a bad thing that happened.”
Her attorney, Melodie Lopez, said, “My client and I are happy this is over. She should not have been charged. We feel vindicated that the charges have been dropped. I think it’s wrong that all the kids there were charged as a group. Their involvement was not the same.”
Let’s see…Victoria suffers a concussion, permanent vision and hearing loss plus numerous bumps, scrapes and bruises, and Cara realized “this was a bad thing that happened?”
“I guess I’m sorry for all that happened,” said Cara.
Oh yeah. That sounds like remorse alright. She guesses she’s sorry. What she really meant to say was “My attorney made me say I’m sorry.” What she’s really sorry about is getting caught in the first place.
But she’s “glad the charges got dropped though.”
I’ll bet she is! Cara goes from facing 15 years to life in prison one day to getting off scot free the next. Who wouldn’t be glad?
Does it sound to you like she has learned anything from this ordeal? I’ll bet next time she will cover her tracks better.
She must really like prison orange because she’s not just wearing it in the slammer. She’s even wearing it on the outside.
View Original Victoria Lindsay Beating Video
Victoria Lindsay Teen Beating Victim 2nd Video
Victoria Lindsay 911 Call Video
Victoria Lindsay MySpace Page Update
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