ENFIELD, N.C. (WNCN) – Murder charges were dropped against three of the four men charged in the murders of two couples in Enfield in 2017, Halifax County Sheriff Wes Tripp confirmed Friday.

Jason Edward Powell changed his story, recanting accusations made against the three other codefendants, leading to the district attorney dropping the charges against them, Tripp said.

Authorities said James Harris, Janice Harris, James Whitley, and Peggy Whitley were playing cards in a home when they were shot and killed on Aug. 21, 2017.

They believed the killings were targeted and gang-related.

Two of those who were charged in connection, Matthew Simms and Keyton West, were released from jail.

Dontayvious Cotton also had his charges dropped, but he remains behind bars due to charges in another case, Tripp said.