ST. GEORGE — The case against the 18-year-old charged in the shooting reported two weeks ago at Mathis Park has been dismissed after the investigation yielded new information – information that has yet to be released by authorities.
The case against 18-year-old Ryan Allen Pringle, who was arrested and charged in connection with the shooting at Mathis Park reported May 16, was dismissed Tuesday, according to an order signed by District Judge John J. Walton on Tuesday.
Pringle was arrested during a traffic stop that took place four days after the incident at the park, and during the stop, the suspect fled from officers on foot. He was apprehended shortly after and booked into jail on one count each of misdemeanor evading the commands of police and providing false information to a peace officer.
Following his arrest there were multiple charges filed in connection with the Mathis Park incident, including second-degree felony aggravated assault and four third-degree felony counts of discharge of a firearm.
Prosecutor Eric Gentry with the Washington County Attorney’s Office filed the motion for dismissal last week, citing that additional evidence was obtained through the course of the investigation that led the state to believe “there is insufficient probable cause that the defendant committed the crimes alleged.”
St. George News reached out to Gentry, who said that investigators obtained information that led them to believe they no longer had enough probable cause to believe that Pringle was the one who committed the crime, he said.
That information was relayed by investigators during a meeting held with prosecutors, following which, the motion to dismiss was drafted and submitted to the court.
Gentry said the investigation is ongoing and that things can change. He said they are hopeful that an arrest will be made and charges filed in the near future, but added he could not elaborate any further on the details of the case at this point.
Dawn Merlino, Pringle’s aunt, reached out to St. George News on Tuesday concerning the dismissal that was signed hours earlier. Merlino said that while her nephew was at the park with another teen on the night the incident took place, she said Pringle was there protecting a 15-year-old when they were “ganged up on.”
She also said that Pringle did not have a weapon nor did he ever shoot anyone. She said her nephew was stabbed and also sustained a serious bite injury during the altercation. Then, when he and the younger teen heard shots being fired behind them, she said, they both ran from the park.
Merlino added that Pringle was later treated for his wounds by a family member and that the injuries caused him to lose all feeling in his arm.
St. George News reached out to Pringle’s defense attorney, Caleb Cottam, but he was unavailable for comment.
Pringle has been incarcerated in Washington County since his arrest on May 20, and jail records showed that he was still in jail Tuesday afternoon. The unrelated case involving the two charges filed in connection with the traffic stop, one count each of misdemeanor evading the commands of police and providing false information to a peace officer, is still active in the courts.
This report is based on statements from court records, police or other responders and may not contain the full scope of findings. Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.
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