You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks


Welcome to

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on

UPDATE: Charges dropped against accused gunman in Boynton murder

Less than 12 hours after Branden Frederick was booked into the Palm Beach County Jail on first-degree murder charges in connection to the fatal shooting of a 26-year-old woman, Boynton Beach police have dropped their case against him.

Police said additional investigation by officers on Friday revealed “exculpatory evidence” and that they are acting “out of an abundance of caution” in releasing the 30-year-old Lake Worth man. Frederick was fingered by two anonymous sources and a confidential informant as the man who shot Curtisia Courtney Smith on April 5. Smith died Monday, 12 days after the “targeted attack,” police said.

City police did not offer an explanation as to what the new evidence uncovered.

“Due to the ongoing criminal investigation, we cannot elaborate any further except to say that we will continue to work tirelessly to bring Ms. Smith’s shooter to justice,” wrote Stephanie Slater, the public information officer for city police, in a news release.

Frederick was arrested Thursday night on charges of first-degree murder and possession of a firearm as a felon in the April 5 shooting at Z Food Meat Market, on North Seacrest Boulevard north of West Boynton Beach Boulevard. He made his first appearance in court Friday and was initially ordered to be held without bail. Later in the day, an order for his release was issued.

Roderick Taylor, 24, was arrested Monday in connection to the fatal shooting as well. Taylor also is being held without bond at the jail.

Surveillance-camera footage from the Z Food Meat Mart shows a man shoot Smith at point-blank range several times. In the video, the man’s face is covered with a bandana.

Unnamed witnesses told investigators the gunman was Frederick and identified him in a photo lineup. A confidential informant told police they did not recognize the shooter, but the individual pointed them out in photo lineup.

Police records do not mention a suspected motive for the shooting.

Surveillance footage from the market reportedly shows subtle exchanges between the gunman and Taylor before the shooting. At one point, Taylor appears to motion his head toward Smith, who is walking toward the shooter.

The gunman then fires five rounds at Smith, police said. Detectives recovered five 9mm shell casings from the scene.

Video reportedly captured Smith falling to the ground and two men running from the store with guns in their hands. At no other point in the report do police mention Taylor having a gun.

Anonymous sources told police those men were “Rat Mike” and “Sheep Head.” Boynton Beach police knew Taylor goes by “Rat Mike,” and nearby police agencies helped city officials piece together that Frederick was “Sheep Head,” according to a police report.

The confidential police informant told police that a black car pulled up behind the market that night, and that “Rat Mike” and another man walked out. “Rat Mike” was shaking people’s hands and asking where Smith was, the source said.

A few minutes later , the source heard gunshots and saw “Rat Mike” and the other man run.

Taylor served two terms in state prison on robbery, fleeing and eluding and burglary convictions. He was most recently released in 2016.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Local

Video shows Delta pilot hit women after Fort Lauderdale-Atlanta flight
Video shows Delta pilot hit women after Fort Lauderdale-Atlanta flight

The latest viral airline video to circulate the web shows a Delta Air Lines pilot apparently smack one woman during a scuffle between two women at an Atlanta airport following a flight from Fort Lauderdale, according to media sources. The video of the April 21 fight was first shared by TMZ on Saturday, and has since made the rounds on social media...
NEW: Man caught on video snatching purse at Royal Palm restaurant
NEW: Man caught on video snatching purse at Royal Palm restaurant

A man is being sought by the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office after he allegedly snatched a purse from a victim at a Royal Palm Beach restaurant. Download our PostNOW app to get the latest Breaking News The man was captured on surveillance video running away after taking the purse. He is described as wearing a T-short, shorts, sneakers and...
NEW: Two displaced after mobile home fire in Hobe Sound
NEW: Two displaced after mobile home fire in Hobe Sound

Two people were displaced from their mobile home after it caught fire early Sunday, the American Red Cross reports. The blaze at the home on Southeast Red Bird Circle, just off Southeast Osprey Street between Federal and Dixie highways, was put out Sunday. Volunteers provided the two residents with food, clothing and temporary lodging, Red Cross reports...
Couple takes Alzheimer’s curves as they come
Couple takes Alzheimer’s curves as they come

HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. — Cheryl Levin-Folio can’t anticipate every new milestone of memory loss as she and her husband, Michael Folio, navigate his Alzheimer’s disease. Sometimes quick thinking comes in handy, as it did when Michael forgot one day to take off his clothes before stepping into the shower. Rather than correct her husband...
Take care of your savings by taking care of your brain
Take care of your savings by taking care of your brain

Grab a bowl of berries and walk up a steep hill. Now you’re ready to learn three other ways to save your retirement fund. Confused? The advice is simplistic and ignores the devastating financial toll dementia-related expenses often add to a person’s struggle with the disease, but if there are some low-cost and relatively easy ways to delay...
More Stories