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Charges dropped in connection with 1988 homicide in Lawrence County

AURORA, Mo. (AP) – A prosecutor has dismissed a murder charge against a southwestern Missouri man in a woman’s 1988 killing.

Lawrence County prosecutor Don Trotter dismissed the first-degree murder charge against Lawrence Timmons, who was indicted in 2019 in the killing of Cynthia Smith.

The 31-year-old Smith was last seen leaving a bar in Mount Vernon in July of 1988. Her body was found in a cemetery a few miles away 10 days after she disappeared.

KOLR reports that Trotter says the case could be refiled if new evidence is found.

Trotter says he dropped the murder charge because witnesses have died and legal changes to requirements for first-degree murder charges would have made prosecuting the case more difficult.

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