MUSKEGON COUNTY, Mich. — Masson Bryant, 22, was close to taking the open murder charge against him to trial last month in Muskegon County Circuit Court. But the judge hearing the case dismissed the charge. That decision was based on evidence needed for the trial not being available at the time.

The Muskegon County Prosecutor's office refiled the open murder charge in Muskegon County District Court, sending the case back to square one.

A preliminary examination on the charge was adjourned Thursday, March 7, in part because the prosecutor assigned to the case was ill.

Bryant is accused in the December 2017 shooting death of Nathan Ward at a home in Muskegon Heights. According to previous court testimony Ward, 42, went to the home with another man to purchase cocaine from Bryant. 

A witness at the first preliminary hearing one year ago told the judge he and Ward were held at gun point by Bryant. And that they were forced to turn over their belongings to Bryant before deciding to fight back in an attempt to get the gun away from Bryant.

Bryant's mother, Barbu Coleman can't keep track of all the court hearings she's attended since her son's arrest, 15-months ago.

"I think this is maybe the 8th," she said.

Coleman believes the evidence against her son is weak, and she's hopeful a jury will soon be able to decide the case.

"He's never been in trouble," she said. "They just giving him the run-a-round, if they have evidence, they would have presented it."

The day after the shooting Bryant turned himself into Muskegon Heights police. He admitted to having a gun the night of the shooting, but only used it in self defense. 

A second preliminary examination is scheduled for 11 a.m. April 4.

► Make it easy to keep up to date with more stories like this.

Download the 13 ON YOUR SIDE app now. Email, visit our Facebook page or Twitter.