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The case against Kenneth C. Mattingly, Stephen Austin Howard and Maurice Greenwell for the 2009 murder of Donald Marshall has been dismissed, but the case will be reinstated at a later date pending the federal drug and gun trial of witness Nevelle Thompson.
The decision to dismiss the trial was reached Tuesday afternoon at a pre-trial conference, according to Commonwealth Attorney Terry Geoghegan.
With the case dismissed, Mattingly, Howard and Greenwell are free to go. According to records from the Nelson County Jail, Mattingly was released Tuesday following the pre-trial conference. Howard and Greenwell were released in February after having their bonds reduced.
The trial will move forward again once Thompson's case in federal court is completed. At that time, Geoghegan said he will go before a Nelson County Grand Jury to get fresh indictmens for Mattingly, Howard and Greenwell.
The trial for the three men charged with murdering Donald Marshall was scheduled to start today with jury selection beginning at 9 a.m.
At a hearing Feb. 23, Howard and Greenwell's bonds were reduced to $300,000 cash or property. Since then, the two have been released from the Nelson County Jail. Mattingly had his bond maintained at the $1 million level and remains locked up. Circuit Court Judge Charles Simms said the commonwealth's evidence made a stronger case against Mattingly.
Information from indictments involving the incident suggest it was related to drug trafficking in Nelson County, possibly in retaliation for the theft of marijuana from Mattingly's residence. Marshall was found dead from gunshot wounds to the head in the driver's seat of a white Ford pickup truck at the intersection of Nelsonville Road and Nelsonville Lane.
Branden Marshall, the deceased's son, and Nevelle Thompson were indicted for the Nov. 10 burglary with a deadly weapon of Mattingly's residence, the same date as the alleged murder. Thompson faces additional charges of tampering with physical evidence for allegedly taking marijuana from the residence and discarding a weapon.