Police shift suspects in deadly shooting at mall

Published: Friday, January 5, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 4, 2007 at 12:00 a.m.

BOYNTON BEACH — A man charged with the fatal shooting of a rival gang member at a mall on Christmas Eve has been released from jail on his own recognizance, authorities said.

Jesse Cesar, 21, was charged with first-degree murder in the death of Berno Charlemond, 24, but investigators said they want the Palm Beach County State Attorney's Office to examine the charges again, the Palm Beach Post reported.

"New information has been discovered that shows the defendant has in fact been involved in the physical altercation with the victim that occurred only seconds prior to the shooting. Jesse Cesar has not been shown to have been involved in the actual shooting that occurred and led to the death of the victim," Investigator Chris Crawford wrote in a letter sent to the court.

Charlemond was shot multiple times in the torso after he encountered Cesar and Fregens Daniel, 21, in the mall. No one else was injured in the shooting.

Police previously said that Cesar shot Charlemond then fired at the officers who pursued him through the mall, but investigators said Thursday that Wilson Pierre Jr., 21, fired the fatal shots.

Authorities are searching for Pierre, who is now wanted on a second-degree murder warrant.

State attorney's office spokesman Mike Edmondson said the charge against Cesar have not been dropped.

"The state attorney has not charged or declined to charge," he said.

Information from: The Palm Beach Post

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