Charges dropped for man accused of waving gun at protesters

The State Attorney’s office has dropped all charges against a Williston man accused of driving into a crowd of protesters and pointing a handgun at them during a Black Lives Matter march in May.

William John Connelly, 64, faced six counts of third-degree aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. The state attorney for the Eighth Judicial Circuit dropped the case earlier this month, citing insufficient evidence to proceed with criminal prosecution against Connelly.

“I am convinced that, while there was initially probable cause to charge, this and other later developed evidence would result in a reasonable doubt and an acquittal, a conclusion that legally and ethically precludes my going forward,” State Attorney Bill Cervone wrote in a letter to the Gainesville Police Department. 

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