Prosecutors drop murder charge over legal technicality

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. (AP) – Prosecutors have dismissed charges against a Kansas City area woman accused of beating another woman to death with a baseball bat because of a technical issue.

The Kansas City Star reports 35-year-old Courtney Hackney, of
Independence, was released from jail this week.

Jurors couldn’t reach a unanimous verdict during her second-degree murder trial in the May 2017 killing of 57-year-old Holly Barnett. Several issues then arose scheduling a retrial. Prosecutors ultimately dropped the charges, with the intention to refile them later, because a key witness wasn’t available.

The issue was Hackney, who had already been subjected to trial, did not
affirmatively consent to the refiling. Prosecutors determined that made the case subject to a legal doctrine that protects defendants from being tried twice for the same charge.

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