June 18, 2014: Today, the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office nolle prossed the murder charges against Eugene Gilyard and Lance Felder.
In light of new information, the police department in cooperation with the District Attorney’s Office conducted a follow up investigation into the 1995 murder of Thomas Keal. This investigation included examining evidence brought out at Gilyard and Felder’s PCRA hearings. The passage of so many years and inconsistencies between witnesses from the initial investigation and witnesses that came to light more recently, has compromised the evidence to the point that we cannot proceed against Eugene Gilyard and Lance Felder.
At the same time, the credibility of the written confession of Ricky Welborn that was put forth at the PCRA hearings last summer has also been called into question, as there is an abundance of evidence that Welborn, a prisoner already sentenced to life, was offered $10,000 in exchange for that statement. The end result is that the office cannot prosecute Gilyard or Felder, or anyone else at this time.