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‘The killers are still out there,’ Rockford mother grieves after murder charges are dropped in her son’s case

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ROCKFORD (WREX) -- The gas station on the corner of 18th and Charles Street may look just like a regular gas station to passers by, and the 16th of each month may just feel like a regular day.

"It takes a lot of strength to come here every month," Rebecca Trimble said on a cold Tuesday afternoon. She comes to a single telephone poll near the corner of 18th and Charles to hang balloons and flowers to remember her son, Cameron Dunlap.

Dunlap was shot and killed near that same telephone pole on May 16th, 2020. Two people were charged in the case.

17-year-old Daisean Davis was charged with murder, burglary, mob action and aggravated discharge of a firearm for that murder. On Thursday, court records show the state dropped those charges.

"I couldn't believe it," Trimble said. "I still can't believe it. This is the second murder the state's attorney has let off since December."

State's Attorney J. Hanley says the charges were dropped because there was not enough evidence to prove Davis was guilty.

"We re-victimized the victims," Hanley said. "We tell them that we have to drop the charges and go further and say, really, they shouldn't have been charged in the first place."

Another man, Avontay Murphy, is still charged in connection to the murder of Dunlap, but not for the murder itself. Murphy is charged with unauthorized sale of a firearm and no valid FOID card.

Hanley created a special unit to review felony cases in Winnebago County.

It is the second time that the Winnebago County State's Attorney's Office has dropped murder charges for someone since J. Hanley took office.

Shawnquiz Lee had murder charges dropped against him for a February 2018 shooting.

Trimble says she wants justice for her son and for her family, so he can rest in peace.

"The killers are still out there," she said. "Somebody needs to be convicted."

James Stratton

James Stratton is the Evening Anchor at 13 WREX and reports for 13 Investigates He joined the team in August, 2018 after working at KWQC TV-6 in Davenport Iowa. His work in Illinois and Iowa has been awarded in both states, along with Edward R. Murrow and Emmy Awards at 13 WREX.

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