Murder charges have been dismissed against an Horry County man once given a life sentence in the slaying of a married couple, according to court information.
A jury originally convicted Richard Gagnon in the 2005 murders of his girlfriend’s mother and step-dad in the Longs area off SC 90.
A state’s witness in the original 2008 trial– the so-called “snitch” who said Gagnon confessed in jail to the murders — came into question.
The defense had its own witness in the appeal hearings who said the snitch lied about the killings of Charlie and Diane Parker.
The appeal decisions lead to an order in 2013 to have a new trial for Gagnon.
But, before that trial could be held, the 15th Circuit Solicitor’s Office decided just days ago to dismiss the charges against Gagnon.
Police matched Bruce Antwain Hill’s DNA to evidence at the scene. Hill was later charged with murder in connection with the case and is serving a life sentence.
“We’re grateful for (Solicitor) Jimmy Richardson coming to the decision and doing the right thing in this case,” Robert Dudek, Chief Appellate Defender for the SC Commission on Indigent Defense, told News13 on Friday.
Dudek represented Gagnon in some motions that lead to the decision for a new trial, paving the way for the charges to be dismissed.