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Judge rejects special prosecutor in ‘mob murder’ case

colonial heights SealColor_212x124_thumbCircuit Judge Herbert C. Gill Monday turned thumbs down on a bid by Colonial Heights Commonwealth’s Attorney William B. Bray to get a special prosecutor appointed for the remaining defendant in a controversial “mob murder” case, Bray said.

Bray sought a special prosecutor for the case against Margaret Blair Dacey after taking heat over his office’s decision to drop charges against two other defendants accused in the beating death of Rusty Mack.

Another defendant in the case was acquitted by a Henrico County jury.

Mack died after a Feb. 11 beating involving several alleged assailants. Evidence about the roles of individual defendants proved murky.

Bray said he viewed Gill’s decision not to appoint a special prosecutor as “vote of confidence” from the court.

“Since the judge denied the motion, I relish the opportunity to prosecute this case to conclusion. The judge’s decision should put to rest rumors and speculation about my decisions in the cases involving Rusty Mack,” Bray said.

Gill approved Bray’s use of an outside prosecutor to assist in the case because of a staffing shortage, Bray said. The prosecutor’s office is short one attorney and is handling a capital murder case with a March trial date.

Dacey’s trial is scheduled for Feb. 6.

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