Judge: Police dropped the ball, homicide charges dismissed - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Judge: Police dropped the ball, homicide charges dismissed

Eau Claire (WQOW) - A western Wisconsin man no longer faces a homicide charge. The judge says investigators dropped the ball.

Kyle Huggett of Burnett County was accused of shooting John Peach last year after Peach broke into Huggett's home.  

Huggett was dating Peach's ex-girlfriend. The court says all three exchanged threatening text messages a week before the shooting and then just hours before it happened, Peach left threatening voice messages on Huggett's phone and his girlfriend's phone. The message on the woman's phone was heard by an investigator, but the judge says that officer never transcribed the call or recorded it. That message is now gone because it's automatically deleted after a certain number of days.  

Almost the same thing happened with the message left on Huggett's phone. In fact, the judge says investigators never even asked Huggett for the security code to listen to his messages.  

The judge says since Huggett claimed self defense "it's hard to imagine any evidence more compelling than threats from the person who died heard by the defendant about two hours before the shooting."  

Because of law enforcement's failure to retain either voice mail the jury cannot examine this critical piece of evidence which means Huggett wouldn't get a fair trial.  

The judge goes on to say, after the shooting Huggett and his girlfriend urged law enforcement to listen to the messages. The judge says he doesn't like to second-guess law enforcement, but says it's hard to understand why investigators never retrieved the message on Huggett's phone or even tried to listen to it.

Powered by Frankly