Prosecutor Drops Murder Charge in Gina Dawn Brooks Case
By: Kate Scott
(Fredericktown, MO)--A new development in the case surrounding a missing Heartland girl and the man once accused of killing her. Prosecutors have now dropped the charge against him.
Thirteen-year old Gina Dawn Brooks disappeared from Fredericktown back in 1989. She was riding her bike home from a friend's house on the night of August 5th. No one has seen her since.
Even though Brooks' body has never been found, investigators believe she was kidnapped and killed. In 1998, they even charged Nathan Danny Williams with first degree murder. Williams was supposed to go to trial in January of 2002. But the trial was postponed as prosecutors tried to dig up more evidence, and a new date was never set. Now a new date will never be set. On Wednesday, Madison County Prosecutor Dwight Robbins dropped the first degree murder charge against Nathan Danny Williams.
It's a move that would seem to set the case back to where it was before 1998. But, Robbins says he has good reasons for dropping the murder charge, and that it doesn't mean Williams is no longer a suspect. In a press release to Heartland News, Robbins wrote, "Based upon new developments in the case, I am of firm opinion that the state...should not proceed to trial and risk the possibility of acquittal thereby losing any chance of retrying the case, should further evidence become available."
In other words, Robbins says prosecutors still don't have proof beyond a reasonable doubt that Williams is guilty. And if he went to trial and was acquitted by a jury, the doctrine of "double jeopardy" says he could never be tried for Brooks' murder again, even if investigators did find proof later.
So where does that leave the little girl's case? Robbins says investigators will keep looking for that long sought- after proof. And if they ever find it, they can refile the murder charge against Williams at any time.
This new development also doesn't mean that Nathan Danny Williams is getting out of jail. He's currently serving thirty years without parole in a Missouri prison, for a conviction of child rape "not" related to Gina Dawn Brooks.