Murder charges dropped against Lawrence County man accused of 1988 homicide

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LAWRENCE COUNTY, Mo. — First degree murder charges have been dismissed in a 1988 Lawrence County homicide.

Lawrence Timmons was charged in the death of Cynthia Smith, who was last seen leaving a bar in Mount Vernon in July of 1988. Her body was found in a Pierce City cemetery 10 days later. Timmons was arrested and charged in 2019.

The state agreed to dismiss the charges after being contacted by a private-eye firm, which stated it had new information. Prosecutors say their decision was due to the deaths of witnesses — and new legislation changes to pre-requisites for first degree murder charges. Timmons remains in the Lawrence County Jail for two separate cases that include unlawful possession of a firearm and forgery.

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