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Younger Brother Cleared In December Shooting Aboard SEPTA Elevated Train

By Tony Hanson

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- All charges have been dropped against the younger of two brothers previously charged with a double-shooting on a SEPTA elevated train in West Philadelphia last month (see related story).

Eighteen-year-old Matthew Early, the alleged shooter, and his 16-year-old brother Eric had been charged with the shootings.   But in court this morning, prosecutor Paul Goldman formally withdrew all charges against Eric, now 17.

"Further review of all evidence now available to the Commonwealth suggests that Eric Early played no role in the shooting on the Market-Frankford el or in a conspiracy to commit a shooting," Goldman said afterward.

Investigators said earlier that the brothers were "talking trash" to a man wearing a Chicago bulls Jersey, and as the brothers exited the train at 46th and Market, Matthew Early turned and fired into the train car (see previous story).

Eric Early's attorney says he didn't do anything wrong, and she is pleased with the swift and appropriate action by the DA's office.   And she says her client is very relieved.

Matthew Early remains in custody.   He faces a preliminary hearing later this month (see related story).  Both of the victims hit by gunfire on the train survived.

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