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Osage Co. prosecutor to dismiss Dale Helmig case

(via Flickr/bloomsberries)

Edited 9:45 p.m. Sunday to correct spelling of mother's name in second paragraph

After 15 years, the murder of Norma Helmig is again an open case.

Osage Co. prosecutor Amanda Grellner released a statement over the weekend saying that she was dropping murder charges against Norma's son Dale, who was convicted of her death in 1996 and sentenced to life in prison without parole. The paperwork will be filed Monday.

In the statement, Grellner said she spent the appeals process reviewing "all information available to me, including the case file, transcripts, witness interviews, and all other available evidence. I have also consulted with the Osage County Sheriff, the Missouri State Highway Patrol, and the Missouri Attorney General's Office, about this case."

"I have decided to dismiss the case at this time, however, there is no statute of limitations for the crime of murder. This case remains an open and ongoing investigation. Should additional information become available it will be reviewed and analyzed, along with the other information we already have, in making a decision as to whether or not to re-file and re-try Dale Helmig."

In November 2010, DeKalb County senior judge Warren McElwain reversed Dale Helmig's murder conviction, citing "false evidence, overreaching prosecutors, and impaired defense counsel." One of the prosecutors in the case was former Congressman Kenny Hulshof.

In February of this year, Attorney General Chris Koster appealed McElwain's decision, which was upheld. Koster appealed to the state Supreme Court, which refused to hear the case.

Rachel is the justice correspondent at St. Louis Public Radio.

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