Murder case dismissed over destroyed evidence

The Associated Press State & Local Wire

St. Joseph, MO

A murder charge has been dismissed in a St. Joseph case after evidence was destroyed.

The St. Joseph News-Press reports that Buchanan County prosecutors plan to appeal Friday's ruling in the case against Dallas Cox.

He had faced a second-degree murder charge in the death of Stephen Akin, who died last fall, a week after he was assaulted. Before his death, he said Cox had kicked him in the head.

Akin's uncle, Kenneth Akin, also was charged in the case. He pleaded guilty in November to second-degree murder.

The manager of the police department's evidence room has testified that an officer mistakenly destroyed evidence in the case after being told to purge old cases from the system.

The evidence included shoes police took from Cox when he was arrested and nail scrapings from the victim's hands.

Information from: St. Joseph News-Press, http://www.stjoenews-press.com

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