Charges dropped against 2nd suspect in Rusty Mack beating death

Posted at 9:02 AM, Nov 15, 2013
and last updated 2013-11-15 17:46:59-05

COLONIAL HEIGHTS, Va. (WTVR) -- Charges against a man accused in the beating death of 21-year-old Rusty Mack were nolle prossed, or dropped,  Friday in Colonial Heights court.

Francis Blaha (PHOTO: Coloanight

Francis Blaha

Francis "Frankie" Blaha was one of four people charged with in connection to Mack's Feb. 2013 death.

Last week, a Henrico jury acquitted Jonathan Guy, 20, on all charges, including second degree murder and murder by mob.

"We prosecuted Jonathan Guy last week.  We prosecuted him on a number of different charges, including murder by mob. And with Frankie Blaha today, if we could not prove a mob beyond reasonable doubt, then we could not convict Frankie Blaha," said Commonwealth's Attorney William Bray.

Blaha walked out of court a free man, though the nolle prossed charges can legally be brought back at a later date, sources said that is unlikely.

John Rockecharlie, Blaha's attorney, said his client was grateful the commonwealth's attorney chose to nolle pross the two charges.

"Because the facts in this case indicated that Frankie Blaha was no more than a witness to this tragic event," said Rockecharlie. "He was just there and he was just watching it but he had absolutely no part in the death of Rusty Mack."

Rusty's mother, Belinda Cardwell, left court disappointed but said she believed Blaha didn't touch her son.

However, she also said she is disappointed at how the two cases have gone so far and is worried about the two upcoming trials.

Additionally, court records show that one of the other two defendants, Blair Dacey, had two of her four charges nolle prossed Friday morning.

Stay with and CBS 6 News for the most complete coverage of this developing story. 

Click here to read past coverage of this case.