BATON ROUGE, La. — Prosecutors have dropped a murder charge against a man accused of beating a woman to death with a baseball bat five years ago.

The Advocate reports ( the charge against 52-year-old Timothy Wayne Washington in Sheena Marie Barnett’s death was dismissed after a judge refused Tuesday to delay his trial in the long-running case to give prosecutors more time to locate key witnesses.

Twenty-six-year-old Barnett’s body was found inside her burning apartment in 2011. Her head was severely beaten, and a bloody bat was discovered near her body.

East Baton Rouge Parish Prosecutor Barry Fontenot says the missing witnesses identified Washington as the man who was with Barnett the evening before she was found.

Fontenot says they’ll continue to look for the witnesses, and refile charges if they are found.

Information from: The Advocate,

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