Warrensburg Murder: Saudi national Ziyad Abid, 24, was freed after almost a year in prison when the killer of a Missouri bar owner who’d earlier said Abid paid him to commit the crime changed his story.
On Friday, Johnson County Prosecutor Lynn M. Stoppy cleared Abid, saying in a statement published by the Kansas City Star: “Very recently, our understanding of evidence previously obtained from a critical witness has changed. As a result, the state is currently left without sufficient evidence to support the prosecution at this time.”
Prosecutors had feared throughout the course of the case that Abid would be deported if let out on bail since his student visa had been revoked as a result of his arrest. Abid’s father had successfully petitioned the Saudi government to post his $2 million bail, but the court did not allow it.
William Blaine Whitworth, 25, was shot to death on Sept. 1, 2012. Reginald Singletary Jr., who was a former bouncer at a bar owned by Whitworth, confessed to the shooting. Abid’s attorney, Pat Peters, argued that Singletary’s testimony was inconsistent—he’d said Abid hired him for the killing, at another time he’d said a gang had hired him, and other variations of the story came up.
The case against Singletary for the murder in Warrensburg, close to Kansas, will continue in February, reports the Star. Whitworth’s mother, Diane Whitworth, was not happy about Abid’s dismissal. She told the Associated Press: “We are disappointed, but other than that there isn’t anything else to say.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.