UPDATED with comments from lawyer of one of the defendants.
ST. LOUIS — The Circuit Attorney's Office on Monday dismissed a murder case against one of two defendants in a 2017 shooting death.
Five felony counts, including first-degree murder and first-degree assault, were dropped against Brandon Cross, 30, in the shooting death of Gentrail Wafford.
Wafford, 35, was found shot to death June 8, 2017, in the 1400 block of De Soto Avenue.
Cross' trial was scheduled to begin this week.
Circuit Attorney Kimberly M. Gardner said in a statement that the case was dismissed "due to witness intimidation, which led to witnesses not being available at this time."
Her statement also said, "It is extremely important to protect witnesses to bring those who need to be held accountable to justice."
Cross' lawyer, T.J. Matthes, said, "We were confident that whether they had their witnesses or not, a jury would find him not guilty."
Murder and other charges are still pending against co-defendant Terrance D. Williams in Wafford's death. Williams, 30, also faces witness tampering charges along with two others in connection with another homicide in 2018.
Williams' case is set for trial in January. His lawyer, Nick Zotos, said Gardner's statement about witness intimidation is false because the witness has already recanted her accusation of Williams and Cross. By claiming witness intimidation, Zotos said, Gardner is trying "to dirty the jury pool on a trial that's six weeks away."