Criminal charges often have a statute of limitations attached to them. This means that there are time constraints for when charges can be filed. However, other types of charges do not include a statute of limitations, including murder. As a result, a person can face charges no matter how many years ago the purported crime occurred.
Not long ago, a 73-year-old man was struck with felony charges for a murder that occurred nearly two decades ago. Authorities say that they have forensic evidence connecting the man to the incident.
In the fall of 1997, an Iowa woman was reported missing by her husband, the man who is currently facing murder charges. Days later, the missing woman's body was found in a neighboring state. Apparently, she suffered head injuries and was strangled.
Authorities believe that the criminal incident took place at the woman's house shortly after the incident. Blood evidence led them to this conclusion. Now, police say that they have hair and DNA evidence to show that the woman's former husband was involved in the murder.
Of course, it will be important to look at how strong the forensic evidence really is. Since it has been so many years since the police investigation began, there is a chance that evidence has been contaminated. As such, it will be important to carefully scrutinize the evidence, as it may not be definitive.
In his defense, the accused man has said that he was traveling on business at the time of his wife's death. Police have since raised questions about the timing of his claims. As such, this alibi could be a critical point in helping to positively resolve the case.
No matter what, the burden of proof remains with the prosecution, so they must have evidence to prove -- beyond a reasonable doubt -- that the man is guilty in order to achieve conviction.
Source: KCRG.com, "Bloomfield Pleads Not Guilty In Wife's Death," Lee Hermiston, Jan. 2, 2014