Bay County sheriff's officials say they're disappointed by a judge's decision to drop charges against one of the defendants in the so-called "Crazy White Boys" murder case.
Defense lawyers say there isn't enough evidence to convict 17-year-old Aaron Cashon, who was charged in the beating death of 17-year-old Shane Elliott last summer.
Sheriff Frank McKeithan has no doubt 17-year-old Aaron Cashon was involved in that beating death last June. McKeithen says the evidence is there, but a judge didn't see it that way and now Cashon is free.
Monday he was on trial for the beating death of a boy his own age. Tuesday, the 17-year-old is a free man.
"I've been through so much. It's like it happened yesterday. It's like a dream, like it never happened. A big blur."
A judge agreed to drop all charges against Cashon Monday morning, due to a lack of evidence. He was one of five people arrested and charged with the beating death of 17-year-old Jeffrey Shane Elliott at a South Lagoon Drive boat ramp.
Investigators say the group chose Elliot at random to beat and rob, as part of an initiation into the gang "Crazy White Boys,” but Cashon says he was not with the four other teens the night Elliott was killed.
He says investigators assumed he was guilty by association.
"I was good friends with the boys that were accused. Hung out with them a lot over the summer."
Sheriff McKeithan says the system has failed Jeffrey Shane Elliott and the family he left behind.
Cashon says he's happy the system saw it his way and he's able to get on with his life.
"Just not the road I want to go down. I want to be something I can tell somebody about. I'm not some criminal that has to hide what they do so they don't go to jail."
The other four suspects 19-year-old Steven Fox, 18-year-old Kyle Sites, 18-year-old Ryan Gray and 17-year-old Derrick Humphreys are still facing murder and armed robbery charges.