BARTLESVILLE, Okla. - Charges were dismissed Friday for a Bartlesville man accused of first degree murder who was this week set to be tried again next month after his trial in January ended with a hung jury.
55-year-old William James Holt, accused of stabbing his roommate 51-year-old Terry Wayne Moody to death on Feb. 12, 2011, was released from the Washington County jail Friday morning after having been held there on a million dollar bond since his trial early this year.
District Attorney Kevin Buchanan, who on Friday decided to dismiss the charges told 2NEWS he did it largely due to a lack of evidence against Holt.
The case began on Feb. 12, 2011, when, according to police, Holt called police from his residence on the 900 block of S.E. Choctaw to report “a shooting or stabbing.”
When police and emergency workers arrived to the scene, they found Moody dead on the living room floor with a knife wound to his chest.
Police arrested Holt five days later on a murder complaint after he had reportedly told them — as he later testified in court — that a woman whom he had identified as Patricia had stabbed Moody. Following further investigation, police determined the woman could not have been at the scene of the crime when it was committed.
They also found the alleged murder weapon in Holt’s kitchen and blood on Holt’s hands and clothes, said the report.
Following the announcement that they could not reach a verdict last January, jurors told Buchanan they were largely hung up on a lack of evidence. Following the discussion, the district attorney's office sent material to be retested or newly tested in the laboratory of the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.
The response from the lab was inconclusive.
“There was nothing really surprising and but nothing that answered any questions the jurors had and in analyzing and reanalyzing how to retry this case with nothing new to present, we can't meet our burden of beyond a reasonable doubt to 12 jurors.”
He said rather than retry the case and have Holt acquitted due to lack of evidence, it was better dismiss the case with hopes for new evidence to try him later.
“We will keep our eyes and ears open for the future and if any new developments come about, the state is able to file first degree murder charges again because there is no statute of limitations.”
In speaking of the evidence, Buchanan told 2NEWS only one fact is clear in the case, that being that Moody was murdered.
“And that is what is so disappointing to us — not being able to prove it at this time. But again, we don't want foreclosure in the future opportunity to have another shot at it.”
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