Essex County will not prosecute a local man charged in October with assault for allegedly breaking the jaw of a man he caught stealing tools from his truck.
Anthony McKay, 29, was scheduled for a pretrial hearing in Lynn District Court on Jan. 24. Supporters of Anthony McKay, including his brother, Ken McKay, had planned to protest on that day.
Essex DA Spokeswoman Carrie Kimball Monahan said this morning that the DA's office filed a nol pros — a legal term meaning the prosecution ceases — on Jan. 6, in Lynn District.
The decision was based on the DA's Office and review of the case, she said. The evidence most recently reviewed were medical records, on Jan. 4, the spokeswoman said.
The review included interviews with McKay and his lawyer, on Nov. 28, and the man who sustained injury, Christian P. Johnson, and his lawyer, on Dec. 14.
In addition, investigators reviewed phone records, photographs and police records.
"We decided in the interest of justice to cease the prosecution of Mr. McKay," the spokeswoman said.
At 2 a.m. on Oct. 15, police responded to Cherry Street after McKay's wife called police to report that McKay had "caught the lady next door's boyfriend taking items out of (his) truck."
Responding officers found McKay holding Christian P. Johnson, 30, of 162 Union St., Lynn. Johnson was later arrested on charges of carrying a dangerous weapon (police baton), possessing a class A substance (heroin), attempting to commit a crime, disorderly conduct and possessing a knife over 2.5 inches.
McKay told police that Johnson shoved him in the chest and came at him in a "bladed stance" and he struck him in the face to defend himself.
Johnson had suffered a broken jaw in the incident that would need to be repaired with emergency surgery, according to court documents.
The case has drawn a lot of attention as those rallying in defense of Anthony McKay said he was defending himself against an armed individual who was attempting to steal from him.
Ken McKay said earlier that he was told that he risked arrest by Lynn police if he protested outside or near Lynn District Court where his brother was scheduled, Jan. 24, for the hearing on assault charges.
Meanwhile, as of last check, Johnson's charges were continuing.
Johnson was previously ordered held without bail because he was already out on bail for an arrest in April.
In April, Johnson was reportedly found passed out on a sidewalk in Lynn while in possession of a class C substance. He was also charged with resisting arrest and disorderly conduct in that incident.