ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. -- An Orange County judge threw out a burglary charge against a repeat offender during his trial because the key prosecution witness was late getting to court. The state crime lab analyst could have helped put the suspect behind bars for 10 years. Instead, he walked free.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement said it was an honest misunderstanding and stands behind lab analyst Tim Petree. Prosecutors said he was under subpoena and should have been ready when he was needed, but also said the judge had other options.