LEXINGTON - Dawson County Attorney Liz Waterman said Tuesday that the dismissal of the charge against Adam Jesseph in the Dec. 22, 2010, death of 3-year-old Misty Herrin was filed without prejudice.
This means she can re-file the case against Jesseph.
"I know people will wonder why the case against Jesseph was dismissed. As our investigation evolved, I felt the information we had led me to believe it weakened my case against him," Waterman said, "I did not believe I could win a case against him. There was no plea bargain in the decision to dismiss against Jesseph."
Jesseph and Doris Herrin, the child's mother, were both charged with abuse of a child resulting in death, a Class II felony. The charge against Herrin remains. Conviction of a Class II felony can result in a prison term of 20 years to life.
Waterman said there is a great deal of emotion about the case, but that would not influence her decision.
"We have to separate our emotions from the case. This is about justice," she said.
She said she filed for dismissal of the Jesseph case Thursday. She was in Omaha Friday taking depositions from doctors in the case. District Judge James E. Doyle entered the dismissal in the court record Monday.
She said the case involving Jesseph might change.
A defendant is entitled to a speedy trial, and the prosecution was running out of time. Dismissing the case against Jesseph reserved her right to prosecute the case against him if more information comes out.
The Herrin case is scheduled for trial Jan. 13, but Waterman said she expects delays.
"We have a lot of work to do on it," she said and added that Herrin's attorney, Jeff Wightman, has a lot of work to do on it as well.
Herrin has been held on $50,000 bond since her arrest.
Jesseph faces two other unrelated charges stemming from a jailhouse fight and a drug charge.