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NY Judge Dismisses Murder Charge in 1986 Killing

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Posted at 5:22 PM, Oct 31, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-31 17:22:00-04

NEW YORK (AP) - A New York judge has dismissed a murder charge against a Miami man in a 1986 killing because the defendant's right to a speedy trial was violated.

    

The New York Times reports (http://nyti.ms/1yM1b6c ) that 44-year-old Justo Santos walked out of court a free man Thursday after Justice Robert Stolz ruled that the Manhattan district attorney's office waited too long to bring charges.

    

Authorities said Santos fled to the Dominican Republic after shooting restaurant owner Jose Martinez. He was 16 at the time and says he acted in self-defense.

    

Prosecutors said they acted as quickly as they could but Santos' lawyer argued prosecutors had the evidence to seek an indictment in the 1990s but never acted.

    

Martinez's daughter spent years searching for her father's killer and finally found Santos in Miami through an Internet search.

    

Prosecutors say they're considering their appeal options.

    

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Information from: The New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com

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