Murder charge dropped for Birmingham man accused of killing mom

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama judge has dropped a murder charge against a man accused of killing his mother after key witnesses failed to show up for the trial. reports 22-year-old Jonathan Pitts was charged with murder in the 2016 death of Cheryl Harrell. Police accused Pitts of killing Harrell and burning her body after her charred remains were discovered in Birmingham.

Court records show Pitts’ case was set for a Sept. 9 trial, but the prosecution was unable to proceed when state witnesses didn’t show up. Jefferson County Judge Tracie Todd dropped the charges, though they could be reinstated if new or additional evidence is presented.

Pitts’ attorney John Lentine maintains his client’s innocence and says the case was dropped because prosecutors didn’t have enough evidence to prove Pitts killed his mom.

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