Man freed after photos discredit witness in murder case

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Authorities have dropped capital murder charges against an Alabama man after cellphone photos discredited the planned testimony of a prosecution witness.

The Tuscaloosa News reports the two photos helped free Shadrell Matthews from custody four days before his trial.

Prosecutors reviewed the photos Thursday and moved to dismiss the case. Matthews was accused of helping kill a 62-year-old man in June 2013.

Two state witnesses planned to testify that they saw a deep knife wound on Matthews in the days after the slaying, suggesting he may have been wounded during the crime. But defense attorneys Mary Turner and Laura Segers Fikes on Monday found photos taken by the witnesses during that time showing Matthews without the reported wounds.

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Matthews had been jailed for nearly four years while awaiting trial.

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Information from: The Tuscaloosa News, http://www.tuscaloosanews.com

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