The case against Nathan Dwight for the 2009 armed robbery of a Hispanic grocery was dropped last week by the Rockdale District Attorney's Office after Rockdale County Superior Court Judge Sidney Nation granted Dwight a rare retrial.
Dwight, 23, was originally to life plus five years in July 2010 after being convicted of armed robbery, three counts of aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.
District Attorney Richard Read said on Tuesday, "When the judge discredits your main witness, it's hard to go forth."
Dwight was granted a retrial on Oct. 6 - only the second time Nation has granted a retrial during his time on the bench -after Nation questioned witnesses's identification. In particular, Nation said he did not see the same scar on Dwight at the trial that the witness who was carjacked in Decatur said she saw on the suspect.
“That identification is the lynchpin of the state’s case," Nation said before granting the retrial. "Without that identification the state would have zero circumstantial evidence in this case.”
“I realize this is very, very serious to grant a new trial, and I don’t do it lightly. I do it very seriously. But I’m not going to let him or anybody else stay in prison for the rest of their life on something as iffy as this is.”
Dwight was arrested in August 2009 after a suspect wearing a white T-shirt and dredlocked wig and knit cap robbed the Bella Vista 2 grocery store at gunpoint in Conyers and made off with cash.
A car, which later turned out to be stolen from DeKalb County in a carjacking that occured shortly before the robbery of the grocery, was later found near Dwight's apartment with a white T-shirt in the car.
Dwight also faces carjacking charges in DeKalb County and is reportedly being held in DeKalb County jail until his bond hearing next month.