SPEEDWAY, Ind. (WISH) — The Speedway Police Department has admitted it made a mistake while investigating the murder of 25-year-old Max Levine, of Kokomo, in the Coke Lot outside Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Police had arrested 19-year-old Avory Johnson on a preliminary charge of murder. But on Wednesday, the Marion County prosecutor’s office said it wouldn’t file charges against Johnson.
Jan Levine, the victim’s mother, told 24-Hour News 8 when the family heard Johnson had been released it “deflated” the family.
Speedway investigators let witnesses who ultimately identified Johnson stay together, the department said. That can give witnesses a chance to compare stories and get on the same page. Normal investigatory procedures call for keeping witnesses separate to get a more accurate accounting of what happened and who was responsible.
“The Speedway Police regret that this error occurred but remain confident in the work of investigators,” the department said in a news release.
Johnson is still considered a suspect and the department is still working with the Marion County prosecutor’s office on the case.
The Speedway Police say the investigation has continued since Saturday morning. Lt. Trent Theobald says investigations continue long after arrests are made.
“I want people to remember the love, joy, happiness and laughter of my son and let that wrap around them and carry them through this, because that’s what we’re doing,” Jan Levine said.
The family of Max Levine plans to hold private funeral services Thursday.