Charges dropped against Lauderhill teen almost 1 year after arrest
Ajauni Walker,18, was accused of armed carjacking, victim misidentified him
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Charges against a Lauderhill teen were dropped Tuesday in Broward County court nearly one year after he was arrested as a suspect in the robbery of a Fort Lauderdale man at gunpoint.
Ajauni Walker, 18, was accused of the armed carjacking of a restored, classic-style pickup truck and gold chain that resulted in a police chase and arrest near his Lauderhill home in late November of last year.
While under oath, Demetrice Clark, the robbery victim, told state attorneys last Thursday that he misidentified Walker as the armed gunman who took his car at gunpoint.
Furthermore, Clark said that he had been contacted a number of times via Instagram by someone who said that he had the necklace that was stolen in the robbery.
Clark had told deputies at the scene of the arrest that he was 100% sure Walker was the suspect.
Additionally, Clark missed court-appointed depositions on at least two occasions as state prosecutors were building their cases.
The state attorney's office repeatedly remarked that it could not proceed with the case based on Clark's revelation, as well as depositions and sworn statements from others about Walker's whereabouts on the day he allegedly committed the crime.
"He was in custody for months, we tried to get him out, he is an innocent man and justice was served today," Walker's attorney, Eric Volz, said. "It's a very fine day for this entire family."
The incident in question began at a Fort Lauderdale Exxon gas station at 600 NW 27th Ave.
A man wielding a handgun approached Clark while he was filling his 1986 Chevy C10 custom show truck with gas.
According to Clark, he tried to get in his car to leave, but the gunman said, "You already know what time it is" before pressing the handgun into Clark's stomach.
Clark tried to reach for his concealed Glock 27 40-caliber handgun in his front pocket, however, the gunman took it, along with his 14-karat gold chain and medallion and the keys to the truck.
The armed man then fled in Clark's pickup truck with Clark following in another vehicle.
Deputies spotted the stolen truck being driven by the gunman at Central Regional Park in Lauderhill at 3700 NW 11th Place. Police pursued the vehicle as it headed westbound on Sunrise Boulevard and 441 before turning into a neighborhood at 4200 NW 12th St.
With the vehicle in drive, the gunman rolled out of the vehicle and fled on foot toward the backyard of a home at 4231 NW12th St. In the arrest report, deputies were able to identify the gunman after he bailed out of the stolen vehicle.
Lauderhill police officers identified a suspect matching the description of the gunman and arrested the suspect, who would later be identified as Walker.
Clark positively identified the suspect at the scene of the arrest. Walker asserted and maintained his innocence leading up to the charges being dismissed, documents said.
He was denied bond despite his attorney's request which indicated that Walker was a 17-year-old with no prior record and posed no flight risk with his entire family residing in South Florida.
"I feel good and now I can proceed to a better future. Finish school, go to college," Walker added outside the courtroom.
He was a senior in high school at the time of his arrest.
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