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Men cleared of charges tied to Midtown St. Louis funeral shooting

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Men cleared of charges tied to Midtown St. Louis funeral shooting

ST. LOUIS (AP) – St. Louis prosecutors have dropped murder charges against two men after a grand jury declined to indict them in connection with a fatal shooting after a funeral.

Lawyers for Van Marcus Batts Jr. and Torrian Wallace tell the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that their clients were released from jail Monday.

Batts and Wallace had been charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal action in the Aug. 8 shooting death of 39-year-old George Calmese at Reliable Funeral Home.

Authorities say Calmese was leaving a cousin’s funeral when he intervened in a custody squabble involving her daughter. Police say Wallace and Batts fatally shot Calmese and wounded his teenage son.

But Wallace lawyer Patrick Conroy says he and Batts’ lawyer presented prosecutors with four witnesses who said that Calmese fired first.
Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch