Investigates

Charges dropped against rape suspect after victim commits suicide

COLUMBUS (WCMH) -- A 45-year-old violent career criminal accused of raping an 18-year-old man at gunpoint last April is no longer facing charges.

The state's key witness, who was the victim in the case, hung himself two months after the alleged incident. Without Garon Hall's testimony, the Franklin County Prosecutor's Office told the court there isn't enough evidence to take Dwight Orr Jr. to trial.

NBC4 Investigator Tom Sussi first broke this story. From the start, Sussi said the case boiled down to Hall's word against Orr's word.

Outside of DNA evidence, detectives were unable to locate any evidence or witnesses linking Orr Jr. to the crime. Rather than risk taking this case to trial and losing, the prosecutor's office dropped charges without prejudice.

That means if new evidence comes to light, the prosecutor's office can refile charges against Orr Jr.

Following the short hearing, Orr's lawyer quickly escorted him out the back door of the courtroom.

Hall's mother, Terri Olmedo, feels let down.

"I'm in shock. (My son) deserves justice. I feel I let him down," Olmedo told NBC4.

She also had a message for Orr Jr.

"One day you're going to face judgment; sooner than later," Olmedo said.

Below is a recap of the case:

April 22: Garon Hall told police Dwight Orr Jr. raped him at gunpoint at Orr's former home on Mountaineer Trail Court in Reynoldsburg. Hall told his mother he met Orr while working at a UDF store on Tussing Road, and went to Orr's house that night to smoke marijuana. Olmedo told Sussi her son didn't know Orr well, and claims he had no idea about Orr's criminal background which includes three stints in prison for involuntary manslaughter, burglary, and fleeing police with a stolen, loaded handgun.

May 2: Orr is indicted on kidnapping, rape and weapons charges.

June 29: Hall hung himself. He died on July 3. Olmedo said her son left behind a note. "Sorry for doing this to you guys. I love all of you with all of my heart. I'm sorry I'm not strong enough for this world. It's just all too much for me to handle. I don't want to go, but my head is destroying me. The thoughts are too much for me to handle. I want them to stop."

July 19: Orr is released from jail on personal recognizance bond.

September 12: Charges against Orr are dropped without prejudice.


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