State will not file charges against North Brevard NAACP president

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BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. - The state decided Friday not to file charges against the president of the North Brevard chapter of the NAACP.

William Gary was arrested last month accused of choking his wife.

Since his arrest, Gary's wife has insisted that she was not afraid of her husband and she wanted the charges dropped.

The state could have still pursued a case, but said Friday it was unable to meet its burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

"From the beginning we believed nothing happened. We do believe that there was a misunderstanding and we believe the state took their time and they did the right thing," defense attorney Samuel Bookhardt III said.

For the past month, Bookhardt and Gary have been in and out of the courtroom fighting allegations that Gary attempted to choke his wife. Now the state has decided it won't file in the case.

"Do you want to have contact with your husband, Mr. Gary?"

Mercy Gary repeatedly asked the state to drop the charges against her husband, including a June 14 hearing attended by Eyewitness News. Mercy Gary even filed a drop-charge affidavit stating they both want to be with each other and that she is not afraid of her husband.

Friday, the state filed its own paperwork and noted no other eyewitnesses to the incident and no marks were visible on her neck in the photos provided.

It said there were no admissible excited utterances. The state said although there was probable cause for an arrest, it was unable to meet its burden of proof beyond any reasonable doubt.

"My client, Mr. Gary, is going to go on with his life and put this behind him and continue to do all the good things he did prior to this unfortunate incident," Bookhardt said.