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Prosecutors have dropped murder charges against a North Little Rock man accused of killing two men last year after the only witness who could tie him to the slaying dropped out of sight.

Emanuel Darrell Traylor, 35, was released from the Pulaski County jail on Monday, 18 months after Glenn James Jennings Jr., 36, and Monte Allen Gilbert, 26, were found dead at Jennings' Division Street home in North Little Rock in January 2017.

With Traylor scheduled to go on trial today, deputy prosecutor Michael Wright told Pulaski County Circuit Judge Herb Wright that authorities have not been able to find that witness, Robert Jackson, despite months of searching for him. Prosecutors had already had the trial delayed once because Jackson could not be found. If Jackson turns up, prosecutors can refile the case within a year.

Traylor had been charged with two counts of first-degree murder after Jackson reportedly told detectives that he had gone with Traylor to the Division Street house where Traylor planned to buy marijuana.

Jackson reportedly said he'd stayed in the sport utility vehicle that Traylor had been driving, a white Mercury Mountaineer, while Traylor went inside. Jackson said he'd heard gunfire from inside the house and looked up to see Traylor shooting at two men, according to police testimony.

Jackson told officers he was scared, so he moved into the driver's seat of the Mountaineer and drove away, abandoning the vehicle about a block away on Frank Street.

Almost at the same time that police were discovering that the men had been killed, a homeowner on Franks Street, a block west of Division Street, had reported a strange SUV apparently abandoned in front of his home.

The officer who checked the car, a Mercury Mountaineer, found it unlocked, so he searched it to see if he could find anything to show who owned it. He discovered a gun under the driver's seat and a cellphone.

The cellphone had the same number that Traylor had used, and the Mountaineer belonged to Traylor's girlfriend, according to reports.

Traylor interjected himself into the police investigation that same night when he called police to report that the Mountaineer had been stolen and met with officers to file a report.

While questioning Traylor about how the SUV came to be stolen, detectives began to suspect that he was involved in the killings. Traylor invoked his right to a lawyer and stopped talking. Jackson was also questioned that night, according to reports.

Metro on 08/15/2018

Print Headline: After witness a no-show, murder charges dropped

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