CANYON CITY The prosecution has dropped all charges against one man and reduced the charges against another in a Grant County murder mystery that dates back 20 years.
District Attorney Ryan Joslin on Monday moved to dismiss charges of aggravated murder and murder that were filed last February against George S. Bogan, 46, of Roseburg.
Bogan was released from jail Monday night.
Still in jail is Thomas Allen Colbert, 51, of Indian Springs, Nev., who faces a charge of murder in the case. A charge of aggravated murder was dismissed.
The charges stemmed from the death of a Mitchell man, Danny Kaye Sweet, who went missing in 1992. His skeletal remains were found by horn hunters north of Mt. Vernon in 1996.
A multi-agency investigation that spanned several years and at least three states culminated in a grand jury indictment last winter, alleging that Bogan had solicited Colbert to kill Sweet.
However, Joslin said the state has since obtained additional evidence impeaching the credibility of a key witness and cannot prove a case of murder for hire.
That finding not only negated the charges against Bogan but also the aggravated murder count against Colbert.
Colbert appeared with his attorneys Tuesday morning in Grant County Circuit Court, where Judge William D. Cramer Jr. confirmed that the case against Bogan was dismissed in its entirety.
The Court has schedule a Nov. 28 hearing on motions in the Colbert case.
Defense attorney Duane McCabe said he expects to submit a motion to dismiss the charges against Colbert based on the lack of a speedy indictment in the case.
The problem were having is that witnesses have disappeared; some have died, he told the judge.
Colbert has not entered a plea, and no trial date has been set in the case.
McCabe noted a scheduling challenge as his firm is also working on a high-profile, five-victim homicide case in Jackson County that is scheduled to go to trial next June. That case is not related to the Grant County case, but will require significant time for preparation, he said.
Cramer set an Oct. 12 hearing to discuss scheduling in the Colbert case.