The judge in the murder trial of Oscar Pistorius has ruled that proceedings will adjourn for more than two weeks after Thursday and resume on May 5.More >>
Oscar Pistorius' lawyers tried to roll back the prosecution's momentum at his murder trial Wednesday following the star athlete's shaky testimony, presenting a forensic expert who quickly found his own...More >>
On Wednesday, Jefferson County District Judge Shelly Watkins signed an order to dismiss the murder charge against Freddie Earl Patton, 53. Court documents show the order to dismiss charges came at the request of the Deputy District Attorney.
Watkins also signed an order for the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office to release Patton from jail. However, the DA's office has confirmed that they will turn the case over to a Jefferson County grand jury.
According to the defense, the prosecution dismissed the case following an argument over questioning of the autopsy report.
John Lentine represents Patton, who was charged with murder in the death of his girlfriend's father, Kenneth Millar. The 81-year-old victim was found shot to death in his Trussville home on Rockridge Avenue on Thursday, Nov. 14. Authorities say he was killed by a 357 Magnum around 4 p.m.
Lentine says that the state's charge should have been for manslaughter or negligent homicide. He says the shooting was an accident and the autopsy report reveals that Millar was grabbing the gun when it went off. Lentine says that's why he wanted to question the report but the coroner wasn't called as a witness.
According to the defense, the only witness called today was a Trussville detective. Since this was crucial to their case, the defense wanted to further question the detective. That's when, Lentine says, the prosecution decided to dismiss the case and send it to a grand jury.
If Patton is indicted, he will have to turn himself back into the sheriff's office. FOX6 News has left a message with the DA's office for a comment on this matter. We have not yet heard back from them.
Family members said Patton had lived with Millar and Millar's daughter for years and accuses the couple of stealing from Millar.
We are gathering more information on this case and will have the latest update on FOX6 News at 9 and 10. You can watch online at www.FoxAlabamaLive.com or on your mobile device through the WBRC app.