Murder and attempted murder charges against an Oakland man in connection with a fatal shooting last August were dismissed today after prosecutors said a key witness has disappeared and there’s a lack of evidence. Daron Woods, 24, was charged with murder for the death of 21-year-old Lamon White, who was sitting in a car with a woman in the 700 block of Market Street in West Oakland when he was shot at about 3:15 a.m. on Aug. 20. Woods also was charged with attempted murder for shooting at the woman, who wasn’t injured. Oakland police said they didn’t know the motive for the shooting but all three people knew each other.
Woods was scheduled to have a preliminary hearing today which would have determined if there was enough evidence to have him ordered to stand trial. But Alameda County Superior Court Judge Thomas Reardon dismissed the charges against him after prosecutor Venus Johnson told him that her office has “lost contact” with an eyewitness that she said was “essential” to the case and there’s not enough evidence to proceed with a case against him at this time. Woods, who has short hair and a beard and was dressed in a yellow jail uniform, hugged his attorney after the charges against him were dismissed. Woods was on probation for an attempted grand theft conviction in Contra Costa County in 2011 when he was arrested in the 1800 block of Brush Street in Oakland last Aug. 22 after a brief standoff with police, one day after the fatal shooting. He has been in custody without bail since that time but is expected to be released soon.
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