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Charges dropped in 1972 murder case due to missing evidence

Assistant Prosecutor Janet Williamson said that a box of evidence that included the murder weapon had been lost

July 28, 2018

BLUEFIELD — Charges have been dropped in a 46-year-old murder case because of missing evidence.

Tomie Lee Mollohan, 76, has been serving a life sentence since August 1974, after being convicted for the 1973 murder of Cebert Pauley, a Kanawha County grocer.

But earlier this year Mollohan was charged with the murder of Mary Osborne. Osborne was murdered on Dec. 28, 1972 at the First Church of God on South Street in Bluefield.

Assistant Prosecutor Janet Williamson said that a box of evidence that included the murder weapon had been lost when the Bluefield Police Department moved in the 1980s, so the case has been dismissed without prejudice.

Williamson says that they consulted the victim's family and that the charges could be reinstated if new evidence became available.

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