A Greene County, Missouri judge has overturned the murder conviction of a man found guilty in connection with the killing of a Cedar County Sheriff’s deputy.
In November 2014, Josh Brown was behind the wheel when he and his passenger were pulled over in El Dorado Springs, for driving without headlights. Brown took off and his passenger jumped out of the car and got into a gunfight with the officer who made the traffic stop. 25-year-old deputy Matthew Chism and the passenger were both killed.
The Springfield News-Leader reports that in May, a jury found Brown guilty of four felonies– including second degree murder. Apparently Judge Calvin Holden did not agree with that verdict and Monday dismissed the murder conviction, as well as the one for ‘hindering prosecution’.
Brown, a prior offender, was sentenced to 10 years for the remaining two felonies– distribution of a controlled substance and tampering with physical evidence.
According to a release issued by the prosecution–Judge Holden stated that deputy Chism did not follow proper police procedure when he started chasing the passenger. He did not have probable cause to believe the passenger was guilty of a crime since the pursuit began as a traffic stop, the judge said.
Cedar County Prosecutor Ty Gaither says he was surprised by the judge’s decision to overturn the murder conviction and plans to appeal.
Gaither says Holden’s decision was “incorrect, ignores the law and the facts, and improperly sets aside the decision of a jury.”
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