(Dec. 13, 2013) In less than a minute, criminal charges were dropped in court Tuesday against the West Ocean City man accused of causing the death of his best friend outside a downtown bar last winter.
In Circuit Court in Snow Hill, Assistant State’s Attorney William McDermott told the court he was not prosecuting the charges against George Daron Nottingham.
“Just for the record, my client deserves a speedy trial,” said Mike Farlow, Nottingham’s defense attorney.
When Judge Thomas C. Groton III reminded Farlow that the case was not being prosecuted, Farlow said, “When it comes around again.”
The case was over and Judge Groton called for the next case as Nottingham and Farlow left the courtroom.
Farlow said Wednesday that the State’s Attorney’s Office dropped the charges as a delaying tactic.
“It’s awfully suspicious,” Farlow said. “We had a trial four months ago and then the October date was postponed and now charges are dropped I just think they’re trying to delay it for some reason.”
Farlow anticipates the Worcester County State’s Attorney’s Office to charge Nottingham again, this time with additional counts. Nottingham’s trial on Aug. 7 ended in a mistrial after jurors were unable to reach a unanimous verdict on the charges of manslaughter and second-degree assault.
Farlow believes the State’s Attorney’s Office plans to charge Nottingham with the two original offenses, plus affray, reckless endangerment and alcohol intoxication endangerment.
Nottingham had been charged in connection with the Jan. 26 death of Mike Post outside the Harbor Inn, where they were celebrating Post’s 40th birthday, which was Jan. 27.
Both men had been drinking before going to the Harbor Inn and they indulged in additional alcohol there. An argument arose after Nottingham realized that his cell phone, which he had purchased just two weeks earlier, was missing.
After some pushing and shoving, which Nottingham described as nothing unusual for two friends, the bartender told them to leave at different times, so the argument would not continue outside. Post left first, and although he walked down Somerset Street, he returned and was outside when Nottingham walked out.
Nottingham said he feared Post, who was much larger in size, was going to hit him, so he slapped or punched Post, who fell, striking his head on the street. Post was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.