Prosecutors decline to charge murder suspects in two SF deaths

The suspects who police arrested in connection with the deaths of two homeless men earlier this month have been released from jail after prosecutors declined to file murder charges against them.

Antwan Monroe, 45, was accused of murder after a man he allegedly punched in the South of Market neighborhood on Aug. 18 died at the hospital.

Two days earlier, police said 38-year-old Tony Shervaughn Phillips stabbed a man to death during a fight near Van Ness Avenue and Fern Street.

Prosecutors have declined to file a murder charge against Monroe because of the need for further investigation, District Attorney’s Office spokesperson Max Szabo said Thursday.

Szabo cited a lack of evidence in prosecutors discharging the case against Phillips.

South of Market incident

Police released surveillance photos of a suspect wanted in connection with the South of Market attack. (Courtesy SFPD Tenderloin Station via Twitter)

On the evening of Aug. 18, Monroe allegedly punched 48-year-old Tung Tran in the face near a tent encampment at Fifth and Stevenson streets.

Authorities said an argument broke out between the two men after Monroe rode up to the encampment on a bicycle. The victim allegedly held a U-shaped metal pipe over his head and told Monroe to leave before Monroe allegedly got off his bike and punched him.

Police said the impact caused Tran to lose consciousness. He was taken to Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and pronounced dead on Aug. 20.

Tenderloin Police Station posted a photograph of the suspect on social media and later arrested Monroe on suspicion of murder.

Polk Gulch stabbing

Tony Shervaughn Phillips (Courtesy SFPD)

On the early morning of Aug. 16, Phillips allegedly stabbed 42-year-old Curtis Neal during a physical confrontation in an alley off Van Ness Avenue.

Authorities said the two men exchanged words and started fighting after the victim poked at Phillips with a sharp stick.

Neal was later found on the sidewalk suffering from stab wounds, according to police. He died after being taken to ZSFGH.

Authorities said both cases were captured on surveillance video.

mbarba@sfexaminer.com

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