The Georgia Supreme Court has upheld a lower court's ruling dismissing charges against Bobby Lavon Buckner, who was accused of raping and killing a 12-year-old girl in 2003 in Chatham County.
A lower court judge in May dismissed charges against Buckner, saying years of delays and vanishing evidence violated his constitutional right to a speedy trial.
Buckner was charged in the slaying of Ashleigh Moore, his girlfriend's daughter. The girl went missing in April 2003 and her body was found a month later by a man fishing along the Savannah River.
Lawyers for the state argued that trial prosecutors did not needlessly delay Buckner's trial, and a trial court judge shouldn't have dismissed the case. The Supreme Court justices disagreed, and unanimously upheld the dismissal of charges.