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St. Joseph murder case stalls over destroyed evidence

Wednesday, September 30, 2009 | 10:08 a.m. CDT

ST. JOSEPH — A second-degree murder trial in Buchanan County is stalled after police mistakenly destroyed most of the physical evidence in the case.

Dallas Cox was scheduled to go on trial Tuesday for second-degree murder in the beating death of 26-year-old Stephen Akin last October.

Instead, attorneys argued over a motion to dismiss the case after hearing about the destroyed evidence.

The St. Joseph News-Press reports that the manager of the police department's evidence room testified that an officer mistakenly destroyed the evidence after being told to purge old cases from the system.

The problem arose because the Cox case was originally filed as an assault because Akin did not die for days after he was beaten. And another man had pleaded guilty in the case, leading the officer to believe it had been resolved.

 


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