A Saudi Arabian national accused of paying his roommate to kill the popular owner of a St. Louis-area bar has left the U.S. nearly three weeks after his charges were dismissed, the Associated Press reports.
Ziyad Abid, a former University of Central Missouri student, had been held without bond for 11 months in connection with the Sept. 1, 2012 slaying of Blaine Whitworth. But Johnson County prosecutor Lynn Stoppy dropped the charges Aug. 2, saying there wasn't enough evidence to prosecute him, the AP reports.
Abid's attorney says the 24-year-old flew from Kansas City to Washington, D.C. on Monday and arrived in Saudi Arabia early Wednesday, the AP says.
When Abid was released, many in Warrensburg, Mo. where the murder took place were livid.
“There’s a stench to this, this town is outraged,” resident Steve Ciafullo told WDAF-TV. “Anyone else would face trial, he might be innocent but he should stand trial like everybody else should.”
Mike Bodenhamer was a friend and business partner of the victim and believed Abid’s release is nothing but dirty politics.
“He’s smiling on his way home probably,” Bodenhamer told WDAF. “The fix was in a long time ago in my opinion.”
The case against Abid, who had been jailed since Sept. 5, drew national attention when Circuit Judge Michael Wagner refused to release him even after the Saudi Arabian government posted his $2 million bail, according to the AP.
Abid was arrested after his roommate, Reginald Singletary Jr., told investigators Abid paid him to kill Whitworth last September, the AP said. But Abid’s attorney insisted that police led Singletary to accuse Abid, and now Singletary’s story has allegedly changed, WDAF reports, which led to charges being dropped.
Here's a report from KMBC-TV on the dismissal of charges earlier this month: