KNOXVILLE - An improper vehicle search by police, along with missing evidence, has led to the dismissal of charges against alleged red-light shooter Clifford E. Clark III.
Charges of felony vandalism and reckless endangerment were dismissed in a written order issued Friday by Criminal Court Judge Mary Beth Leibowitz.
The circumstances surrounding Clark's arrest as a suspect were not sufficient for the arresting officers to search his vehicle without a warrant, the judge ruled.
Police found and seized a rifle from the vehicle.
The missing evidence consists of parts of the camera at the intersection of Broadway and Interstate 640 that Clark is alleged to have shot with a big-game hunting rifle in November 2007.
Without evidence available, Clark's attorney could not examine it.
"The state was unable to produce the evidence, and the attorney general after inquiring has determined that some of the evidence is gone and that some of the evidence has been recycled for use," the judge wrote.
In an incident unrelated to the red-light camera case, Clark still faces charges of criminal trespass and allegedly pointing a shotgun at Knox County Sheriff's Office plainclothes officers.
More details as they develop online and in Tuesday's News Sentinel.
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