Prosecutors have dropped the murder charges against Jerry Anderson, the Caldwell County man accused of killing his wife whose Gaston County trial ended in a hung jury in July.
Anderson was accused of fatally shooting his wife, Emily, and stuffing her body in the toolbox of her pickup truck. The truck was found in Duncan, S.C., nine days after she was reported missing from the couple’s Sawmills dairy farm in late December 2005.
The district attorney’s office for the twenty-fifth prosecutorial district of North Carolina announced the charges against Anderson had been dropped on Tuesday afternoon. In a press release, District Attorney James Gaither Jr. said the investigation into Emily Anderson’s death continues and whoever is responsible for her death will be prosecuted.
He said the DA’s office will re-evaluate the case as additional information becomes available.
Anderson’s attorneys said he is both relieved and excited that he can now move on with his life. Many of his friends said they never believed he was the killer.
“There ain’t no question in my mind from day one. I’ve had people get mad at me over it, (me) saying he was innocent,” said neighbor Wilson Smith.
”It’s great that they turned him loose,” said friend Ray Wilson.
”I’ m so excited for Jerry. Now he can go on with his life,” said Jenny Wilson.
The Anderson case went to trial in July. Eleven jury members believed there was not enough evidence to convict Anderson, but one thought he was guilty. The jury deliberated for seven days before Judge David Cayer determined they would not be able to reach a verdict.
Anderson was facing the death penalty if convicted. He spent nearly a year and a half in jail before being released on bond on July 23.
Mike Griffitt, Emily Anderson's brother, said the dismissal doesn't end the case.
"We're not through with him," said Griffitt, who lives in Nicholasville, Ky. "Dismissing the case doesn't mean he can't be recharged with a crime. ... There's no doubt in my mind that he did it."