ACCUSED Preliminary hearing clears charges for acquitted death row inmate



Witnesses gave conflicting dates under questioning.
NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- Charges of stalking against a former death row inmate have been dropped.
Atty. Tom Leslie said charges of stalking, harassment and criminal mischief were dismissed Thursday at a preliminary hearing for Thomas Kimbell, 42, of East Long Avenue, in Lawrence County Central Court.
New Castle police arrested Kimbell July 20 and accused him of harassing a woman and her children at their Lyndall Street home.
Police reports stated that he was seen standing in the woman's yard or in a wooded area adjacent to her home. He also threw a rock and broke the glass of a bedroom window of one of her children, police said.
Police said a baby sitter reported seeing Kimbell on Monday standing in the front yard with a sword or large knife that was about 1 foot long.
Leslie said the witnesses gave conflicting dates for the incidents when questioned during the hearing and the charges were dismissed.
Police could not be reached Friday to see whether charges were going to be refiled.
Previous charges
Kimbell was acquitted in 2002 in the stabbing deaths of Bonnie Lou Dryfuse, 34, her daughters, Jacqueline, 7, and Heather, 4, and a niece, Stephanie Herko, 5, in Pulaski Township.
He spent four years on death row before being granted a new trial by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. No one else has been charged, and the case remains unsolved.
In May, Kimbell was seriously hurt after being beaten by a man in a dispute over money.

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