Charges dropped against teen charged with killing 16-year-old found outside hospital

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Prosecutors have dropped charges against a 19-year-old just two weeks after he was accused of killing another teen who was found dead in a stolen car outside Duke University Hospital.

Quantarius Williams, 19, was arrested July 22 and charged with murder in the death of Duwayne Clay Jr. and with discharging a firearm into an occupied dwelling/moving vehicle.

Clay, 16, was found with a gunshot wound in a stolen vehicle shortly after 12:30 a.m. May 28.

Investigators believe the fatal shooting happened in the area of Fayetteville and Timothy streets.

Quantarius Williams_fitted.jpeg
Quantarius Williams

The dismissal this week came after a grand jury voted not to indict Williams on those charges, according to court documents released Monday.

A grand jury’s duty is to hear evidence presented by a prosecutor and decide whether there is probable cause for the charge.

“Probable cause is a reasonable suspicion supported by circumstances sufficiently strong to warrant a cautious person to believe that the person accused is guilty of the offense charged,” according to a state grand jury handbook. “To pass on a bill of indictment, only two questions need be answered. First, was a crime probably committed, and second, did the defendant probably commit that crime?”

Charges could return if the evidence in the case changes or if there is probable cause to support a different charge, said Sarah Willets, a spokesperson for the District Attorney’s Office.

Williams was released from the Durham County jail on Tuesday on $15,000 bail related to another pending charge, according to the Durham County Sheriff’s Office.

On June 10, Williams was arrested and charged with possession of a weapon of mass destruction and possession with intend to sell and distribute marijuana, according to court documents.

Williams was found with a sawed off SKS assault rifle and 1 1/2 ounces of marijuana, according to court documents. He was released from jail on $15,000 bail that day, but was charged with two counts of failure to appear on a felony after he missed a June 9 court date, according to court documents.

A Duke University spokesman said someone drove a stolen car with Clay to the front of the hospital’s emergency department access road and then ran from the car, The News & Observer previously reported.

Clay was a student at Southern School of Engineering and Sustainability, but he withdrew in November, according to a Durham Public Schools spokesperson.

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Virginia Bridges covers criminal justice in Orange and Durham counties for The Herald-Sun and The News & Observer. She has worked for newspapers for more than 15 years. In 2017, the N.C. Press Association awarded her first place for beat feature reporting. The N.C. State Bar Association awarded her the 2018 Media & Law Award for Best Series.