A judge sentenced former FBI agent John Connolly to 40 years for a 1982 murder today, and simultaneously blew a giant hole in the prosecution’s case, the Miami Herald reports. The facts seem to be clear: Connolly told mobsters with whom he was in cahoots that an associate, who was promptly shot, was going to snitch. But the second-degree murder charge carried a statute of limitations of 4 years, which ran out long ago, the judge noted.
“There is no doubt that John has won,” Connolly’s attorney said, calling him a “free man.” Here’s how it works: the prosecution evaded the statute by arguing that an “enhancement” applied because Connolly was carrying a firearm when he told his mob buddies about the informant. The judge gave no credence to this claim in his ruling, practically inviting an appeal. (Read more FBI stories.)