No charges for "prime suspect" - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

No charges for "prime suspect"

 June 16, 2006

Albany -- Dougherty County prosecutors drop murder charges against a man they still describe as the "prime suspect."

Albany Police spent a year searching for 58-year-old Maurice Smith, even though he was working and living openly with family in Michigan. He was arrested last week in Detroit, but he's free now because he has an alibi.  

Smith was briefly charged with killing 50-year-old Raymond Hawkins in February 2005 behind Hawkins' South Albany home on West Whitney Avenue. The day after the murder, Albany Police named Smith a person of interest and then put out an arrest warrant.

They finally found him this month in Detroit where he was working as a tax preparer and accountant. Smith says he was in Detroit at the time of the murder, so prosecutors don't want to keep him in jail.  

Dougherty Chief Asst. D.A. Gregory Edwards says Smith's alibi makes it impractical but not impossible that he killed Hawkins.

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