The murder charge against a woman who was convicted of killing her boyfriend in 2003 has been dismissed after a yearslong legal battle.
The Riverside County District Attorney’s Office said Thursday that the charge against Kimberly Long, 45, had been dismissed and it would not retry the case.
“Our office carefully looked at and considered all aspects of the case and determined, in part due to the lengthy passage of time since the murder and the deaths of key witnesses, that we can no longer prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt to a jury,” District Attorney Mike Hestrin said in a statement.
Long spent seven years in prison after the second jury to hear her case convicted her of murder in 2005. The first jury had deadlocked on the case but favored acquittal. Long had always maintained her innocence.
Long was released from prison in 2012 then spent four years out of custody on bail while her case was appealed, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
Prosecutors said Long had called 911 in 2003 and told police something happened to her boyfriend, Oswaldo “Ozzy” Conde, 31, inside her home in Corona. When police arrived they found Conde dead. An autopsy ruled Conde’s cause of death as blunt force trauma.
Last November, the California Supreme Court overturned Long’s murder conviction and ruled that her defense lawyer made a critical mistake at trial.
“I’m so happy I can now put this case behind me and move on with my life,” Long said in a statement. “It’s been hanging over my head for so long, but now I am just looking to the future.”