Murder case dropped in '80 disappearance of woman

TAWAS CITY (AP) -- There will be no second murder trial for a man who served three years of a 25-year prison sentence for the death of a woman who disappeared in a small Michigan county in 1980.

The decision last Friday by Iosco County Prosecutor Nichol Palumbo came two weeks after the state appeals court threw out Jimmie Nelson's second-degree murder conviction at her request.

Palumbo has new evidence that casts doubt on Nelson's guilt. Cherita Thomas was last seen struggling with a steaming radiator in Iosco County, about 200 miles north of Detroit.

The evidence hasn't been publicly disclosed but it points to a different perpetrator.

The 61-year-old Nelson has been out of prison and free on bond since November. He was charged in 2004 but didn't go to trial until 2010.

Published: Tue, Mar 18, 2014