Wood went before Superior Court Judge Eric Nakata on Friday morning to try to lower his client's bail amount when Deputy District Attorney Lyvia Liu surprised him with her announcement, he said.
"This was the right result," Wood said. "There was no evidence against Mr. Wyatt."
Wyatt, 34, Merritt, 26, and Lannon, 25, had each been charged with two counts of assault, but Liu said that further evaluation of the evidence showed they hadn't been involved with the violence.
Liu maintained that four of the men — Scott Darren Sikoff, 38; Josiah L. Apduhan, 28; Eric Anthony Zwarkowski, 21, and Rodney Earl Rust, 28 — beat up a bar patron at Mickey McGee's bar in Hesperia on Jan. 28 as part of a Vagos motorcycle club initiation process.
Each have been charged with two counts of assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury.
While Liu has said that evidence shows Sikoff is a Vagos member, the other three were prospective members, she added. Thus, all four remaining defendants also have a gang-enhancement charge included with their assault counts, which could add years to any sentence they receive.
If found guilty, the maximum any of the defendants could face in prison is
17 years, Supervising Deputy District Attorney Gary Roth had said earlier.
The four will be arraigned on their charges on Wednesday.
Miriam Morton, Merritt's attorney, said she, too, was surprised by the prosecutor's decision.
"Being present at a place where a crime is committed is not a crime," she said. "If it were, everyone at the bar that night would've been charged."
James Ramage may be reached