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Jailed Tuesday on Unexpected Murder Charge from 1975, Defendant Sees Case Dismissed on Thursday

Posted Jun 1, 2012 3:03 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Earlier this week, Bobby Coley showed up at the Montgomery County, Md., sheriff's department to clear up what he understood to be a minor arrest warrant that was standing in the way of his application for a custodian job at a local hospital.

Imagine his surprise to discover that he was wanted in the claimed 1975 murder of a former employer, Leopold Chromak, whose body has never been found, the Washington Post reports.

Jailed on Tuesday, the 63-year-old was released on Thursday after a prosecutor told a local judge during a Wednesday hearing in Rockville that officials are scrambling to figure out what is happening in the case. Coley was arrested under a 1984 warrant, which was never executed even though he was jailed in Washington, D.C., at that time on apparently unrelated charges that were eventually dismissed. Meanwhile, the murder case doesn't appear to have been active for decades.

On Thursday, the state dismissed the murder charge, but it could still be refiled at a later date.

"I feel like, you knew where I was when I was in jail and for the past 38 years, and now you done come to me when I’m 63 years old? They knew where I was all this time,” Coley said.

As to the possibility of further investigation, “they can investigate me for the rest of my life," he continued. " I had nothing to do with this. [Chromak] was good to me.".

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