Utah prosecutors drop murder charge, cite possible alibi

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah prosecutors say information about a possible alibi has led them to drop a murder charge against a man who was scheduled to go on trial this summer but was ready to change his plea.

The Salt Lake County District Attorney's Office on Thursday filed court documents to dismiss the case against 49-year-old Thomas Pennington.

Pennington had pleaded not guilty to second degree murder in the death of his ex-girlfriend, 20-year-old Patricia Ramirez in 1986.

Messages left with Pennington's attorneys were not returned.

Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill declined to say whether Pennington had been discussing a plea deal with prosecutors before they dropped the charges.

He says prosecutors couldn't pursue the case with the new information but he noted the case was dismissed without prejudice, which means they can refile it.

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