Charges Dropped Against Jacksonville Man In Toddler Murder

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.- Charges against a Westside Jacksonville man who was originally arrested as an accessory to murder have been dropped.

Dangelo Antwain Wilson, 23, was arrested as an accessory in the January 29 death of 22-month-old Aiden McClendon. According to defense attorney Melinda Patterson, prosecutors dropped the case against Wilson late last week after finding they did not have enough evidence to justify the charge against him.

Aiden was killed by a wayward gunshot that was meant for his 19-year-old cousin. His cousin was in the front yard while Aiden was sitting in a car with his mother and grandmother. According to the Sheriff’s Office, rival gangs Out East and Problem Child Entertainment were in a dispute when gunfire erupted. The toddler’s grandmother was gathering her things to get out of the car when the rapid exchange started.

Wilson was one of the first arrested in the case. Police later arrested 17-year-old Henry Lee Hayes IV. Authorities believe Hayes was the one that pulled the trigger.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, they are searching for one more individual who is believed to have fired shots that day as well.

Wilson told police he didn’t know anything about the shooting and police arrested him because they thought he did know something about the case, said Patterson. But according to the law, saying you don’t know anything about a shooting is not enough to warrant charging someone with accessory.

Wilson was released from jail about three weeks ago after pleading guilty to a separate charge of possession of a firearm by a felon in June. He was sentenced to 144 days for that charge and has already been locked up for both crimes.

According to a state attorney spokeswoman, no formal charges were ever filled against Wilson. He will remain on a list of witnesses prosecutors have indicated they will call to testify against Hayes.

A trial date for Hayes has not been set.