KANSAS CITY, Mo. (CN) – After an appeals court threw out all the evidence, Jackson County prosecutors have dropped murder charges against an attorney accused of killing his partner.
Richard Buchli was convicted in 2002 for the beating death of his law partner, Richard Armitage, two years earlier. But that conviction was thrown out in 2006 after it came to light that prosecutors failed to give the defense evidence in a timely manner, the Kansas City Star reported.
Last December, the Missouri Court of Appeals ruled that the state’s continued failure to provide all the evidence in its possession prevented Buchli from receiving a fair trial.
Jackson County prosecutors asked the Missouri Supreme Court to review the ruling, but last week the state’s high court declined to hear the case. With no evidence left, prosecutors filed the dismissal on Friday, the Star reported.
A key piece of evidence was a piece of surveillance video that prosecutors used to establish that Buchli had time to kill Armitage and then clean up, before he was seen leaving for lunch.
Later, it was discovered that prosecutors had an entire day-long surveillance tape that had not been disclosed to the defense before trial. The defense says this evidence showed that Buchli would have had little time to commit the killing and clean up.