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John Lovett's Murder Charges Dismissed

Last updated on Tuesday, April 10, 2012

(BRAZIL) - It’s another twist in a double murder case that goes back to the 1980’s.

In 1988, Tonya Pickett and her stepfather Ricky Mustard were shot and killed in their Brazil home.

Gina Glaros, of WTHI-TV, reports over the next 20 years, the case went cold.Then, in 2008, an arrest was made.

And as of Monday, there were new developments in the old murder case.

John Lovett of Brazil was charged for the murders of his then-girlfriend Tonya Pickett and her stepfather Ricky Mustard. Initially, he wasn't a suspect in the case.

Officials say there was no other evidence leading to him other than he was the last person seen with Pickett.

The case was reopened by cold case investigators in 2003, with Lovett being arrested in 2008.

Last month, the charges against Lovett were dismissed based on what was called insufficient evidence.

"I think the real tragedy here aside from the fact that Mr. Lovett was sort of identified with the suspect for so long and sort of under scrutiny by local law enforcement and then charged with murder is that I don't think we know who committed these crimes," Lovett's attorney Dorie Maryan said.

Maryan says unfortunately, since the police still don't have any concrete evidence, the case could remain unsolved.

While the case against Lovett appears to be over, the charges were dismissed without prejudice. That means if more evidence against him is discovered, Lovett could be charged again.

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