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Charges Dropped Against Lewis County Cold Case Murder Suspects
Written by Erin MacPherson
Last updated on November 08, 2013 @ 6:59PM
Created on November 08, 2013 @ 2:25PM

A Magistrate dismissed murder cases against three men who were arrested in September, because of their alleged connection with a cold case from 1999.

Investigators claimed Charles Freeman, David Hughes and Joseph Metz were involved with the murders of Mary Friend and Maxine Stalnaker 14 years ago.

Attorneys from the defense and the state both made motions to have the cases dismissed because of an error. The original criminal complaint that led to the arrest of all three men was signed by a magistrate who used to be a deputy for the Lewis County Sheriff's Department. That deputy was actually the first officer on the case.

Earlier in the day, Lewis County Circuit Court Judge Kurt Hall was given the motions to dismiss; however, he said he didn't have enough information to make that call so he said he was going to take it under consideration and make a decision by next week.

The case then went back to magistrate court, since it was still in the preliminary stages. That's when a special magistrate approved the dismissals.

Prosecuting Attorney, Michael Smith, said there was some new information found. So this gives the deputies more time to thoroughly investigate this crime. He said they will re-file the charges, we just don't know when. Smith also stressed there is no urgency to do so.

Friend and Stalnaker first went missing back in 1999. The three men were facing charges for murder, kidnapping and robbery.

Stay with 5 News for the latest information.


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