Charges dropped against teen accused in Coke Lot shooting - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Charges dropped against teen accused in Coke Lot shooting

Updated:
Max Levine of Kokomo was fatally shot in the Coke Lot Saturday. Max Levine of Kokomo was fatally shot in the Coke Lot Saturday.
SPEEDWAY, Ind. - No charges will be filed at this time against a teenager arrested for a shooting death near the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Saturday.

Police released the 19-year-old and dropped the preliminary murder charge against him. He had been arrested after 25-year-old Max Levine of Kokomo was murdered in the Coke Lot the day before the Indianapolis 500.

"Mistakes can't happen in cases like this," said the victim's father Victor Levine.

But a mistake did happen - what Speedway police called their error - which led the prosecutor to not bring charges against the shooting suspect.

"You can't be sloppy about this. This is a murder case," Levine said.

Two witnesses to the shooting were mistakenly allowed to view the suspect at the same time, according to Speedway police. Because of that, what one said might have influenced the other, so their suspect identifications would no longer hold up in court.

Speedway PD Lt. Trent Theobold said, "The investigators are still working on that investigation and will. There's nothing that stops it. We're going to get past this....[The suspect] is still considered a person of interest in this case."

"Something like this, they should be more careful. Now the finger points at the Speedway police for not doing their professional work," said Levine.

The disappointing news struck the family the day before they would bury their son. They still don't know what sparked Max's death.

"The guy, if he walks in this, it's not over for him because he has to deal with God. He doesn't have to answer to the police, he has to answer to God. So my faith rests in that."

Levine's father pleaded with anyone who knows anything to come forward to police.

"What if it was one of their kids, their mom, their dad? They should feel the same pressure that I am feeling."

He said he can't believe his son's first trip to the Indy 500 cost him his life.

"It's still hard to believe. It's bothering me right now. I keep hoping this is a dream, you know, and I am ready to wake up from it."

Levine worked as a store manager at a gas station in Kokomo. His father held a picture of his son as a five-year-old boy close as he talked about his death.

"I cherish this picture right here. I love it," Levine said.

Anyone with information on this case is asked to call the Speedway Police Department.
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