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A federal judge has dismissed a second-degree murder charge filed against a Lame Deer man after he alleged investigators destroyed evidence that could have implicated another suspect.

Attorneys for Whitebird Limpy sought dismissal of the charge that alleged Limpy killed Julia Stump on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation in November 2016. Federal prosecutors didn’t oppose the motion and U.S. District Judge Susan Watters granted it on Tuesday.

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KULR-TV reports Limpy’s attorneys argued Bureau of Indian Affairs officers allowed key evidence in the case to be destroyed — specifically a shoe belonging to another man who was at the house during the attack. The shoe was found inches from the alleged murder weapon and Limpy argued the man, who had previous domestic violence convictions, had been dating Stump.

The charges could be re-filed if additional evidence is developed.

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