Charge dropped against teen accused of strangling father

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DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina prosecutor dropped the murder charge Thursday against a teenager who was accused of his father's mysterious strangulation death.

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 strangled in his home in a wealthy Durham neighborhood with a dog leash nearby.

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 and charged him with murder.

Alexander Bishop, then 16, had called authorities to say that he had found his father unresponsive in their Durham home with a dog leash around his neck and the other end still attached to the dog. The father died later in a hospital.

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.

Sharp said in her statement that the death appears to have been “a tragic cardiac event."

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