BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - A Bakersfield judge has dismissed murder charges against two men because he says the suspects' rights were violated.
Henry Gibson was killed in September of 2000 in east Bakersfield. Witnesses identified the suspected shooter at the scene as Steven Molina but he wasn’t arrested.
A few months later another witness came forward and identified the same man, Steven Molina… again no arrests.
Ten and half years went by before the case was investigated any further.
In July 2011 a Bakersfield police detective reopened the case and the same two suspects, Steven Molina and David McGuire, that were identified in 2000 were charged.
In the decade that passed two witnesses died. One of those witnesses gave an alibi for at least one of the suspects.
On Monday Judge Michael Bush dismissed the case saying the suspect’s rights under the 5th and 14th amendments to the US Constitution had been violated.
The 5th and 14th Amendments protect citizens with due process of law.
The defense argued and the judge agreed that by waiting so long to make arrests and bring charges the defendants could not properly defend themselves because of the death of witnesses and the fading of memories.
The district Attorney says they talking to the Attorney General of California about a possible appeal.