For the second time this year, prosecutors have withdrawn charges related to shootings that had been filed against Eugene Phillips Jr.
After informing Phillips Thursday of the action in the latest case, District Judge Ronald E. Antos, Farrell, admonished Phillips to “keep your nose clean.”
“I don’t want to see you back in here again,” Antos said.
Phillips, 20, of 267 North St., Sharon, had been charged with carrying a firearm without a license, aggravated assault and reckless endangerment.
Assistant Mercer County District Attorney William J. Moder III said Southwest Mercer County Regional police need to do more investigating.
The victim, Isiah Best, was shot at 1:08 a.m. on Union Street, Farrell, near Fruit Avenue. Phillips confronted him in Landay Apartments and asked him if he had a problem with Tyrell Wells, police said.
Although Best responded, “No,” Wells swore at him, threatened to shoot him and displayed a handgun, police said. Best started walking on Union toward Fruit when he was shot, police said.
Best did not see the shots fired and police have not identified any other witnesses who saw the gun go off.
In April, prosecutors withdrew charges of carrying a firearm without a license, aggravated and simple assault and reckless endangerment stemming from the shooting of Taysja M. Whitehead, 18, of Farrell, Jan. 1 at a home in the 800 block of Fruit Avenue, Farrell.
Phillips was playing in a .32-caliber handgun when it went off, hitting Whitehead in the thigh, police said.
Phillips and Whitehead told police the shooting was an accident.
In both cases, prosecutors could refile the charges.
Phillips still faces charges of possession of crack cocaine and drug paraphernalia and possession of crack with intent to deliver stemming from his arrest on the Whitehead shooting warrant March 22 in the 1000 block of Hamilton Avenue, Farrell. Police said Phillips dropped bags of crack as he ran from them.
• • •
Tyrell P. Wells had just been informed that Southwest Mercer County Regional police had withdrawn drug and gun charges and that he was free to go.
As Wells made it half way from the defense table to the courtroom door at about 11 a.m. Thursday at the office of District Judge Ronald E. Antos, Farrell, he was surrounded by Southwest police, a state trooper and an FBI agent, who informed Wells that he was under arrest on a federal warrant.
Wells, 23, of 1918 Mary St., Farrell, expressed shock with his facial expression and body posture as police placed a waist belt around him, handcuffed him and gave him a pat-down search.
He asked about bail and the FBI agent informed him he was being taken to Pittsburgh.
Wells’ federal case file remains sealed, but presumably federal officials will take over essentially the same case that Mercer County withdrew.
Southwest Mercer County Regional police said they received a report at 4:22 p.m. May 28 of a man with a gun in the 200 block of Wallis Avenue, Farrell. Police spotted a car matching the description of having been involved, on Union Street, Farrell, and followed it to Landay Apartments, also on Union.
Two men ran from the car, one of them Wells, police said.
Wells was seen shortly afterward walking out of a home in the 700 block of Hamilton, out of breath and sweating, police said.
Police found a Smith & Wesson 9 mm handgun and a bag containing a half ounce of crack in a trash can at the rear of the home, police said.
About 4è hours after the initial report, Wells placed a telephone call to Mercer County Jail inmate Dashawn Scott, police said. In the call, which was recorded, Wells told Scott he was followed by police to “the ville,” which police believe refers to Landay’s nickname of “Freak Village.”
He said he ran from police with “Terran,” who police said refers to Terran Paige-Hughes, who was seen by police after the man with the gun call running in the 700 block of Hamilton.
Wells also told Scott he threw a “hammer,” a reference to a gun, and a “half,” a reference to a half ounce of crack, and that police found “everything,” police said.
Wells had a digital scale with cocaine residue on it when he was arrested at 12:29 a.m. July 24 in the 900 block of Hamilton Avenue, Farrell, police said.
Wells is due back in federal court Monday for a detention hearing.