Officials free man accused of hiring hitman to kill wife

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) — Prosecutors in Virginia have dropped all charges against a man charged with hiring a hitman to kill his ex-wife after the accused hitman refused to cooperate with the investigation into the 2004 double slayings that also left the woman’s 7-year-old son dead. Christopher Schmidt had been held in jail on murder charges for the last three years. The Virginian-Pilot reports that Schmidt was released Tuesday after prosecutors asked for the charges to be withdrawn. The case against Schmidt was thrown into disarray last week when a judge allowed accused hitman Richard Stoner to withdraw his guilty pleas. Prosecutors said that without Stoner’s testimony, they don’t have enough evidence to convict Schmidt.

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