Norfolk, Va. – When he heard a judge say the words “charges dismissed,” Melvin Wilkerson says he was blown away.
“It was just devastating.”
For almost two years he went to court hearings in Virginia Beach in connection to the shootings of his son and daughter.
They were shot in May of 2012. His son Carlos died after twelve days in the hospital. His daughter Ditesha survived.
What became the worst night of Wilkerson’s life, started off as one of the best.
Wilkerson and his wife were celebrating their 30th anniversary with a vow renewal ceremony at the Royal Courtyard Banquet Hall in Virginia Beach.
Wilkerson says the night took a turn when Jermaine Belvin showed up uninvited. Belvin was dating Wilkerson’s niece at the time; the two are now married.
Wilkerson says there was an argument that led to the shootings outside.
Belvin was eventually charged with Carlo’s death and for the wounding of Ditesha, but those and two firearms charges were dismissed on Feb. 5 according to online court records when Belvin was found not guilty.
According to Wilkerson, the judge said there wasn’t enough evidence.
Wilkerson says he doesn’t understand what happened to all the evidence the Commonwealth told him they had.
NewsChannel 3 spoke to Belvin’s wife, Lashawn Belvin, over the phone about the case.
She had a different story about some of the facts in the case, saying in court it was revealed that there were three people shooting that night including the victim and that Belvin only fired his gun into the air.
She also says he was an invited guest at the event and he was the one who was attacked.
For Belvin’s wife, an innocent man is now free. But for Wilkerson’s family, there are still a lot of questions and no justice.
The Commonwealth Attorney’s office was unavailable for comment Monday since they were closed for President’s Day.