|Published:||Aug 26, 2010 4:36 AM EDT|
|Updated:||Aug 26, 2010 12:36 AM EDT|
CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla. - 21 year old Ralph Loosman was supposed to go on trial this week, charged in connection with a deadly hit and run. But Monday, the State Attorney's Office dropped Manslaughter and Vehicular Homicide charges because two key witnesses disappeared. Loosman broke his silence, talking exclusively to WINK. He has two words:
"I'm innocent," Ralph Loosman said.
20 year old Alex Teehee was hit by a car on a Port Charlotte street in July of 2008. This past February, Ralph Loosman was arrested in Las Vegas, charged in Teehee's death.
"The U.S. Marshals came crashing into our hotel room," Ralph's mother Linda Loosman remembered. "Guns at my daughter, guns at my son, guns at my husband, yelling, screaming, saying he was a violent criminal, he's a fugitive on the run."
"I was appalled that they would even try say that about me," Ralph said.
Linda said, there's no way her son could have been involved. "He was with us the night of the incident, July 13th of 2008, at 11:00," she said. "Our legal team had an accident reconstructionist that proved that our car, it was impossible that it struck or did anything to Mr. Teehee."
Because two key witnesses could not be located, the trial, which was set to begin this week, was dropped. It was a tough blow to the victim's family.
"We feel like we've been let down, and our son has been let down," Alex's father Tab Teehee said."
"I will fight for the rest of my life. There is no statute of limitations on murder," Alex's sister Jana Thompson said.
A State Attorney's Office Spokesperson said prosecutors were disappointed the case couldn't go forward, but they can re-file charges if the witnesses are found and cooperative.
"It was a relief at this point but it seems they are just going to continue on," Linda Loosman said. "It's tarnished his reputation. He's been called a murderer."
Linda Loosman says if those charges are brought back up and her son does go to trial, they're prepared to fight.