State prosecutors seeking a Chillicothe man's third murder conviction in his neighbor's 1990 death will have to pursue the case without vital ballistics evidence.
Platte County Circuit Judge Owens Lee Hull Jr. ruled Monday that a bullet recovered from shooting victim Lyndel Robertson was improperly handled by Robertson's private investigator. That investigator wound up secretly leading the Livingston County Sheriff's Office inquiry that led to Mark Woodworth's conviction.
The Missouri Attorney General's Office also can't discuss the gun allegedly used by Woodworth to shoot and kill a sleeping Cathy Robertson.
Woodworth was first convicted in 1995 but won an appeal. A second jury again found him guilty and sentenced Woodworth to life in prison. The Missouri Supreme Court overturned his conviction in January over evidence it said he never received.