Son No Longer Charged With Dad's Dog-Leash Death

Murder charge against Alexander Bishop has been dropped
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 6, 2020 4:44 PM CST
Updated Feb 6, 2020 4:46 PM CST
Charge Dropped Against Son in Dad's Dog-Leash Death
Stock photo.   (Getty Images / simpson33)

(Newser) – A North Carolina prosecutor dropped the murder charge Thursday against a teenager who was accused of his father's mysterious strangulation death, the AP reports. The Durham County District Attorney's Office filed a court document dismissing the charge against Alexander Bishop in his father's death in April 2018. Prosecutors cited insufficient evidence in dismissing the charge. "Alexander is grateful to finally be able to move on with his life after the tragic loss of his father and an unwarranted criminal prosecution," his attorney, Allyn Sharp, said in a statement. The father, 60-year-old William Bishop, was found by his son unresponsive in his home in a wealthy Durham neighborhood with a dog leash wrapped around his neck, the dog still attached to the other end. He died later at a hospital.

The death of the real estate developer who had worked on prominent projects in Florida made headlines in two states. But what looked like at first like a freak accident took an unusual turn when investigators arrested the son, then 16, and charged him with murder. An autopsy later determined that William Bishop had died from homicide by strangulation, with ligature marks around his neck. A judge ruled that search warrants in the case were invalid and threw out evidence, saying an investigator had used misleading information to gain the warrants. Bill Bishop "appears to have died after a tragic cardiac event during or after which the dog got his leash wrapped around William Bishop’s neck," Sharp wrote in a statement cited by the Raleigh News & Observer. (Much more on the strange case, including allegations of abuse by Alexander Bishop against his dad, here.)

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