Prince George's County authorities said they had no choice yesterday but to drop all charges against two men accused of abducting, shooting and stabbing Deborah Ann Davis, a cousin of D.C. Police Chief Isaac Fulwood Jr.'s.
The suspects could not be prosecuted because Davis, the only witness in the case, was slain last month, hours after testifying before a grand jury about the June 25 attack, the state's attorney's office said.
One of the men, Edward Leroy Huff, 24, of Southeast Washington, is being held in the D.C. Jail on an unrelated murder charge.
A D.C. police source said last week that he is under investigation in Davis's death.
The other man, Freddie Artis, 31, of Hyattsville, is being held in the District for allegedly violating his probation on a robbery conviction.
Davis, 38, the mother of six children, told Prince George's police she was abducted in the District and driven in a van to Avondale Park in Chillum, where she was stabbed, shot three times and left for dead.
She managed to crawl away and summon help, she said. The next day, from a hospital bed, she identified Artis as one of her assailants, police said.
He was arrested June 28 in the District and charged with violating his probation, police said.
Prince George's authorities filed documents in District Court charging him with attempted murder, among other offenses.
On July 5, Davis identified Huff as her other assailant, police said. Prince George's authorities obtained an arrest warrant charging him with attempted murder and other crimes, but he remained at large.
A source said yesterday that Davis told police she had begun hearing rumors on the street that Huff intended to harm her.
She testified before the grand jury July 26. That night, she was shot to death in a parking lot at 12th and G streets SE, police said.
Huff was arrested last Thursday and charged with an unrelated killing.
Yesterday, with his only witness dead, prosecutor John Smathers told a District Court judge in Prince George's County that the state's attorney's office wanted the charges dismissed. The motion was granted.