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Charges dropped, trial canceled in 20-year-old murder case

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The man who would have faced trial for a second time in a 20-year-old murder case is now home and free. Allen County prosecutors dropped their case against Richard Niemeyer.

According to court records, a motion to dismiss was filed and granted without prejudice Tuesday. 24-Hour News 8’s sister station, WANE, reached out to the prosecutor’s office for comment, but hasn’t heard back yet.

Niemeyer was charged with one count of murder in the death of Kevin Weisenburger in May 1993. The case had gone cold, but was reopened two years ago when two pieces of evidence at the scene, a cigarette butt and a dirty towel, came back with DNA matches to Niemeyer. Niemeyer’s DNA was in a national database from when he was incarcerated in 1996 for operating a vehicle while intoxicated charge.

Based on that DNA evidence, Niemeyer was arrested in 2015 and charged with Weisenburger’s death. In the first trial, Niemeyer’s attorney questioned the accuracy of the DNA testing and argued that it wasn’t enough to convict a man of murder. Niemeyer, his family and his friends have been adamant that he’s innocent from the beginning.

The jury couldn’t reach a unanimous decision and the first trial ended in a mistrial. The prosecution said they would try the case again and that trial was supposed to start October 11. That trial has now been canceled.