Prosecutors have dismissed a charge of first-degree murder against a man who had been in custody since a mid-July shooting in McFarland.
Samuel Alaniz was released from jail Wednesday after the case against him was dropped due to insufficient evidence.
Deputy Public Defender Richard Ramos said Alaniz and his family were "ecstatic" by the decision, and the family cried in the hallway afterward.
"The District Attorney's office did the right thing," said Ramos, who called the evidence against his client "sparse."
Alaniz, 18 at the time of his arrest, was accused of killing 25-year-old William Carrillo Jr., who died 10 days after being shot on July 14. Carrillo was shot around 11:30 p.m. at East Sherwood Avenue and San Pedro Street in McFarland, according to the coroner's office.
Ramos said Carrillo gave what's known as a "dying declaration," in which he reportedly named Alaniz as his killer, but that statement was not recorded.