ALLEN COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) – A man charged in a 2015 homicide case would have gone free today, but for the fact he’s serving another sentence in a state prison.
In June, Donte Curry, 41, was charged in the shooting death of Harold Von Harrington, 26, in November 2015, a case that went cold until prosecutors located witnesses willing to testify.
One witness, however, is serving a federal sentence in Arizona and prosecutors said in court Monday, they didn’t believe he’d be available for an Oct. 4 start to Curry’s 4-day jury trial.
The trial was rescheduled to Jan. 31-Feb 3.
“They were unable to get one of their star witnesses back in town. They’re having trouble getting him here in time for the trial so they filed a motion to continue that was granted today,” said Robert Scremin, defense attorney representing Curry.
Curry asked for a fast and speedy trial, which means bringing a trial together in 90 days. The trial was rescheduled outside those 90 days, so Curry was released from these charges of murder and using a firearm in the commission of an offense, Scremin explained.
However, Curry won’t be released from incarceration because he is serving time at the Plainfield Correctional Facility on charges of cocaine dealing and resisting law enforcement. His earliest possible release date is February 2023, according to the Indiana Department of Correction website.
“The effect of this is he will be returning to the Department of Corrections to finish serving that sentence,” Scremin said.
Curry appeared in front of Allen Superior Court Judge David Zent Monday.
Harrington was shot just before 6:30 p.m. Nov. 21, 2015 as he sat in his car outside his home in the 3200 block of Central Drive. Harrington was listening to music and wearing his earbuds when his mother, Lynette Scroggins, ran to him.
Harrington’s car was running and the lights were on. Neighbors across the street heard gunshots and saw a person take off eastbound in an alleyway, court documents said.
A witness recalled seeing a man described as 5-foot-10 and 165 pounds with dreadlocks or wearing a “sock hat,” running from the scene while putting a gun away.
Ten days after Harrington’s shooting death, an FBI agent working with a confidential informant bought a gun off Curry for $800. After learning that Harrington’s death was “possibly a hit,” the 9mm gun was tested and found to be the one used to shoot Harrington, according to court documents.
Two years later, a detective interviewed a man at the Allen County Jail who said he and Curry were members of the “C” gang. He said Curry told him he’d gone to buy weed from Harrington and shot him through the driver’s side door because someone paid him $5,000 to shoot him. The hit was supposedly because Harrington owed money, court documents said.
“Somebody wanted to have him killed,” said Brian Martin, Fort Wayne homicide detective on the case, who is also in charge of cold cases.
Scroggins said when she heard about the charges, the family had never heard of Donte Curry.
“At first I teared up,” she told WANE 15. “I got emotional and I just starting thanking God because for six years, we had nothing. Today gave me closure.”