Suspect in Fort Worth murder of ex-Wyatt star set free after 18 months in jail

FORT WORTH, TEXAS - An Everman woman who has been sitting in jail since January 2016 on a capital murder charge has been released after prosecutors determined the evidence against her was insufficient.

Candra Lanay Sanders, 22, barely knew the men who are awaiting trial on capital murder charges, according to her attorney, Wes Ball.

“A friend of hers asked her to ride with her while she picked up these two men, and they picked them up and then they dropped them off,” Ball said. “They had no idea that they had just killed Chester Johnson.”

Chester Lee Johnson Jr., 32, a former track star at Fort Worth Wyatt High School, was found shot in his 1999 four-door Acura at about 2:20 a.m. on Nov. 10, 2016, in the 3700 block of Village Creek Road in east Fort Worth. Johnson was taken to John Peter Smith Hospital, where he died from gunshot wounds to the chest and abdomen.

Ball said police had no business presenting Sanders’ case to the district attorney’s office. She was indicted in March 2016.

“Really, this case should have never gone to the grand jury,” Ball said.

But a detective who worked the case said that there was an uncooperative witness who ultimately caused the case against Sanders to be dismissed. Sanders was the person who knew Johnson and the one who coordinated the robbery, said Fort Worth Det. Jerry Cedillo.

Read more from our media partners at the Star-Telegram

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