Albert Love, who at one time had been on death row and who had been waiting for his appeals court ordered new trial has now been released from jail after the McLennan County District Attorney’s Office filed a motion to dismiss the charges against him, saying the office would not be able to go to trial against him at the present time.
The motion noted that a combination of things had led to the decision. The motion noted that two crucial items of evidence supporting the case against Love that were available during the initial trial are now now longer available for the new trial that had been scheduled to begin October 25th. District Attorney Barry Johnson had sought a delay of the trial but that motion has been denied.
Text messages that were critical evidence in the original trial have been ruled inadmissible by the Court of Criminal Appeals. In addition, a witness who had provided a recorded statement and who was anticipated to testify at trial that Love was present at the murders of Keenan Hubert and Tyrus Sneed on March 28, 2011, bearing an AK-47 style rifle and wearing a red hoodie and red sweatshirt, has now recanted his statement and asserts his recorded statement was false.
DNA processing of a red hoodie and red sweatshirt recovered at the murder scene that might have provided evidence of Love’s presence at the time and place of the murders was begun, but would not be complete in time for the scheduled trial.
Forensic examination of ammunition recovered from the car of one of the co-defendants in the case was also underway with DNA being sought.
Cell phone tower data was also being studied,.
But it was noted that the processing of all that potential evidence would not be completed for at least 90 days, and the motion to dismiss noted that prior to the processing of that potential evidence, that the prosecution felt it could not safely proceed to trial.
It was noted that dismissal avoids prejudicing the State’s right to proceed as appropriate in the future against Albert Love or others who may be incriminated by additional evidence.
A spokesman for the DA’s office said that further indictments in connection with these murders would be considered in the future as appropriate when all necessary evidence is available.
A jury convicted Love and his friend Rickey Cummins of capital murder and sentenced them both to death in 2013.
McLennan County District Attorney Barry Johnson had earlier decided not to ask for the death penalty when Albert Love, Jr. was to be re-tried for Capital Murder.
The cost of the trial and the possible appeals was one reason Johnson decided to take the death penalty off the table.
For now, however, Love is free and currently not facing charges.