- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 21, 2015

HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) - Washington County prosecutors are dropping charges that a former state prison inmate concealed a homemade knife used in a slaying at the Maryland Correctional Institution near Hagerstown.

The Herald-Mail (http://bit.ly/1E2S5HE ) reports that accessory charges were dismissed Tuesday against 24-year-old James Valentine of Edgewood.

Assistant State’s Attorney Christopher McCormack says the state had no evidence Valentine conspired with another inmate to kill 22-year-old Deavel (deh-VELL’) Johnson in March 2013. McCormack says prosecutors could only show that Valentine had possession of the weapon afterward.

Inmate Andre Washington was convicted in December of second-degree murder and possession of a weapon in Johnson’s death. His sentencing is set for Jan. 28.

Prosecutors say Washington stabbed Johnson in the neck in an apparent gang hit in a minimum-security, barrack-style housing unit that slept 64 inmates.

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