Ex-murder suspect released

Published Aug. 1, 1996|Updated Sep. 16, 2005

Donald Shoup Jr., cleared of a Canadian student's slaying, left the Volusia County Branch Jail Wednesday afternoon a free man.

In court, a handcuffed Shoup smiled at his father, Donald Sr., when County Judge Tom Bevis dismissed two remaining probation charges.

One hour later, father and son embraced for the first time in four months as Shoup stepped from behind a vaulted door.

Bevis also dismissed the mentally disabled man's probation.

The violation charges stemmed from a domestic violence case involving Shoup's sister.

They were automatic when Shoup, 19, was charged in the murder of Mark Fyke on March 15. When Shoup was cleared Tuesday, that charge became moot, said Shoup's attorney, Larry Henderson.

Prosecutors said four new witnesses who surfaced this week forced them to clear Shoup on charges of principal to first-degree murder and principal to attempted armed robbery with a firearm.

In written statements, two men and a woman said Shoup was with them in a motel room from 8 p.m. to 12:05 a.m. the night Fyke, 18, was shot to death at a Daytona Beach pay phone.

Another man said he saw Shoup of Ormond Beach between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. at the motel in Port Orange. Fyke was shot in the back of the neck just before midnight.

In April, a Volusia grand jury indicted Shoup and three other teenagers in Fyke's death.

Shoup initially confessed to police. He declined to comment Wednesday on why he made the confession.