Charges dropped against Mo. man in 1982 slaying

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Charges have been dropped against a St. Louis man who served 29 years of a 95-year prison sentence for the brutal 1982 slaying of a 31-year-old woman in her St. Louis apartment.

St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce on Friday dismissed rape and murder convictions against 56-year-old George Allen, who was found guilty in 1983 of killing Mary Bell.

Prosecutors had used a confession Allen gave to investigators to make their case, but Allen's defense contended the confession was coerced.

In November, a Cole County Circuit judge issued a scathing ruling suggesting St. Louis police ignored and suppressed numerous pieces of evidence.

Bell, a diagnosed schizophrenic, has been out of prison since mid-November.

Joyce says in her blog there is no doubt the justice system failed both Allen and Bell.

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