Murder charge dismissed against Durham teen accused of killing father in 2018

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- The Durham district attorney dismissed on Thursday a murder charge against a teen accused of killing his father in 2018, according to the teen's defense attorney.

Alexander Bishop, then 16, had been charged in the high-profile death of Durham developer William Leslie Bishop, who was also a prominent figure in the Tampa Bay, Florida, area.

The DA's office dropped the charge, citing insufficient evidence to prosecute.

Alexander Bishop called police on April 18, 2018, saying that he had found his dad unresponsive in their basement with a dog leash wrapped three times around his neck and the dog still attached. He said he removed the leash and called his mother, and then 911.

When EMS arrived, Bishop was in a chair unresponsive. The leash was not on his neck or attached to the dog.

The search warrant said Bishop's son told authorities his father had just gone through a divorce and was having issues with his new girlfriend.

EMBED More News Videos

Questions swirl around the death of Durham developer William "Bill" Bishop.

The report also stated the victim's son told authorities he was verbally abused by his father and would not be upset if his father died.

Bishop was taken to Duke Hospital where he died three days later.

The autopsy report revealed Bishop died from ligature strangulation. His death was ruled a homicide.

According to Allyn Sharp Law, Alexander's defense attorney, the autopsy also revealed, however, that William Bishop had blockages of up to 80 percent in his coronary arteries and he appeared to have died "after a tragic cardiac event" during or after the dog's leash became wrapped around his neck.

Alexander Bishop was arrested Feb. 22, 2019, by Durham police.

His attorney said that happened after a chain of events that began when a Durham police investigator "falsified evidence to make the circumstances appear "suspicious," in sworn statements to obtain twenty-two search warrants, which produced no incriminating evidence, and in communications to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. The investigator was the sole witness before the grand jury which approved the indictment in February 2019, charging Alexander with the murder of his father."

Alexander was a student at Durham Academy, who was told that he would not be able to return to class after the murder charge.

"The life of this innocent young man has been on hold since then." Allyn Sharp Law said in a statement. "Alexander is grateful to finally be able to move on with his life after the tragic loss of his father and an unwarranted criminal prosecution,"

NOTE: Video is from a previous report and will be updated.
Copyright © 2020 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.