CROWN POINT — The state dismissed attempted murder charges against two men Tuesday after the alleged victim said he would not testify at the men's trial.

John F. Hardaway, 30, and Carlton R. Crosslin Jr., 29, were charged with attempted murder in Lake Criminal Court on allegations they hit Kevin Robinson with a vehicle Aug. 16, 2016, in Gary. Hardaway was allegedly waving a gun at the time, court records state.

Both men appeared in court Tuesday for trial, but Lake County Deputy Prosecutor David Rooda informed Judge Salvador Vasquez the alleged victim told a Gary detective he would not appear to testify.

He said the state could not prosecute the men without the alleged victim's cooperation and filed motions to dismiss the cases. A jury convened Monday was sent home as a result of the dismissals.

Defense attorney John Cantrell represented Hardaway. He claimed the alleged victim's claims regarding the attack were dubious.

“He made the whole thing up,” Cantrell said. “I was very happy for my client that the case was dismissed.”

Murder cases begins

Meanwhile, a new trial started in Judge Diane Boswell's for Rickey O'Neal Smith Jr.

Smith, 34, is charged with murder in the shooting of Clarence Thornton June 28, 2016, outside Smith's home in the 300 block of Mount Street in Gary.

Smith previously appeared at trial in December, but Judge Diane Boswell declared a mistrial after several jurors reported seeing Smith in handcuffs, which is considered prejudicial.

Jamise Perkins, Smith's defense attorney, claimed in opening statements Tuesday at Smith's trial her client shot Thornton in self-defense.

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Courts and social justice reporter

Steve covers Lake County courts and social justice issues for The Times. The UW-Milwaukee graduate joined The Times in 2016 after reporting on criminal justice in New Mexico and Wisconsin.