First degree murder and child abuse charges have been dropped against a St. Louis woman whose child's body was found in a trash bin in 2011.
Thirty-year-old Melissa Jackson was scheduled to go on trial on Monday in the death of her 18-month-old son, Marquell, who was found in a trash bin behind his home in May 2011. His mother pleaded not guilty to the charges.
She spent about 10 months in jail before being released on bail in March 2012. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that her attorney, Scott Rosenblum, received notice Monday that all charges were dropped. Susan Ryan, spokeswoman for St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce, would not explain why the charges were dropped.
City police spokeswoman, Schron Jackson, informed the newspaper that an officer might have compromised the case by not sharing critical information with homicide detectives. Jackson says an Internal Affairs investigation will be initiated.
Veterans in Illinois will some be able to use their experience as military medics to become licensed practical nurses or emergency medical technicians. That's because the state was one of six chosen by the National Governors Association to participate in the "Veterans Licensing and Certification Demonstration Policy Academy."
Governor Pat Quinn on Monday announced Illinois' participation in the program that eases licensing requirements for medics and helps ex-military police officers transition to civilian police forces.
The other state chosen to participate include Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Nevada and Virginia.
Residents in Uplands Park will decide next month whether or not to dissolve their tiny village. In the mean time, the village board is considering how to provide police protection in the cash strapped community.
Residents complain that they've had little to no police protection since the board all but closed their Police Department.
Now St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch is weighing in. He's sent a letter warning trustees that state law requires them to provide 24 hour police protection.
The village board discussed McCulloch's letter at Monday night's meeting. They also discussed contracting with St. Louis County for police protection, but the board took no action.
A $25,000 reward is being offered after Phineas the dog disappeared Friday night from the Salem, Missouri vet's office where he's lived for more than a year.
The dog has been the subject of legal challenges after being condemned by the mayor in 2012 for allegedly biting a 7 year old girl. She wasn't seriously hurt and experts are questioning the photographic evidence of that bite.
Staff at the veterinary office discovered Phineas missing when they arrived about 7:30 Saturday morning. They'd last seen him Friday evening when they fed the dog.
The vet who's been caring for Phineas, Dr. J. J. Tune was expected to testify at a pivotal court hearing Thursday. Dr. Tune told Fox 2 News that the evidence seems to lean in the dog's favor. "You know, in my estimation, the dog would have been exonerated," Tune said. "The bite wound that they have pictures of is of a primate bite. It's not of a canine bite."
Now the dog's owners are worried that someone who wanted to harm the dog has taken him. Their attorney, Joe Simon told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that it's likely the dog is dead. Even so, the reward for information about his disappearance stands.