Charges withdrawn against remaining defendant in Decker killing

VIRGINIA BEACH – The Commonwealth decided Monday to quit pursuing all charges against Raymond Lewis Perry, the remaining defendant on trial for killing off-duty Norfolk police officer Victor Decker.

Perry was charged with capital murder in the October, 2010, robbery and murder. Decker’s body was found near his pickup truck in a remote parking lot near a go-go club. He’d been there earlier with friends and they parted ways at closing. He’d been shot once in the head. His gun and wallet were taken. The officer was married and had a new baby.

The case had been cold nearly two years when police charged Perry – a federal inmate – based on a cadre of jailhouse snitches who told a judge they were hoping to trade their testimony against Perry for breaks on their sentences.

In a jailhouse interview with NewsChannel 3 when he was first charged, Perry said he did not kill the officer. He said inmates were trying to get breaks for themselves by telling lies about him.

Police also charged a second man, Kareem Turner, with the same crime. Earlier this year, prosecutors dropped charges against Turner because defense attorneys discovered a key snitch had lied. Stolle, the top prosecutor, said that revelation led him to quit the case against Turner, but said at the time had other testimony and evidence that still implicated Perry. Even so, he agreed to drop the Commonwealth’s pursuit of the death penalty.

Prosecutors said Monday that they lost faith in the bevy of jailhouse snitches who told them Perry was the killer. It was then they realized they didn’t have enough to prove their case.

The top prosecutor says he believes the two right men were charged and he will concentrate on rebuilding the case against them.

That’s why the charges were officially Nolle Prossed, which means they could be brought against Perry again.

The defense says police got the wrong men and they are hoping the investigation eventually points to the real killers, not the two they say were charged wrongly.

Raymond Perry will not be freed because he is serving a virtual life sentence on federal robbery charges.

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