Texas prosecutor tosses charges in 1992 teen double slaying

WACO, Texas (AP) — A Texas man who was sentenced to life in prison for fatally shooting two teenagers in 1992 is now a free man after a district attorney dismissed the charges.

Richard Bryan Kussmaul was convicted of capital murder in 1994 for killing 17-year-old Leslie Murphy and 14-year-old Stephen Neighbors in a mobile home near Moody, about 100 miles (160 kilometers) south of Dallas.

His conviction was vacated last year due to DNA evidence.

The Waco Tribune-Herald reports that the McLennan County District Attorney’s Office dismissed the charges Wednesday, citing “passage of time,” testimony recantations from Kussmaul’s three co-defendants and improvements in DNA technology.

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The prosecutor also dismissed charges against James Edward Long, Michael Dewayne Shelton and James Wayne Pitts Jr. who were convicted of sexual assault in the attack.

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Information from: Waco Tribune-Herald, http://www.wacotrib.com

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