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Mario Richardson, charge dropped

Mario Richardson, of Ferguson, had a murder charge dropped in June 2019.

UNIVERSITY CITY • Prosecutors have dismissed murder and armed criminal action charges against a Ferguson man in a University City homicide in 2016.

Charges were dismissed Tuesday against Mario Richardson, 36, of the 700 block of North Florissant Road. His case was set for trial this week in the fatal shooting of Curtis Robinson.

Robinson, 52, was shot in the chest about 1:10 a.m. Oct. 18, 2016, in in the 6800 block of Raymond Avenue.

Police said Richardson shot Robinson during a fight, and that witnesses who saw the shooting identified Richardson as the killer. Court records said Richardson had been seen earlier pistol-whipping and threatening to kill Robinson.

Tim Swope, operations chief for St. Louis County Prosecutor Wesley Bell, cited problems with witnesses in dismissing the case. He said one witness has died, one is in prison and the third has refused to testify.

"There is some hope that we can file in the future but right now it's dead in the water," Swope said.

Richardson's lawyer, Melinda Gorman, praised the prosecution for dropping the case, saying, "They took a good look at the facts and evidence in the case and did what was just."

Richardson has unrelated pending charges of backing a car toward a police officer during a traffic stop and struggling with an officer in June 2016. He was released Monday on bail and has a trial date of Nov. 18 on those charges.


EDITOR'S NOTE: Tim Swope is the operations chief for the St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney's Office. An earlier version of this story misstated Swope's job title.