Apparent Clerical Error Results in Release of Convicted Murderer Awaiting New Trial

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POLK COUNTY, Iowa  --  A man who was awaiting a new trial on a first degree murder charge has had all charges against him dropped due to an apparent clerical error.

In 2009, Michael Moss was convicted of the murder of Andrew Hughes. Moss appealed his conviction claiming his original attorney was ineffective.

After serving seven years in prison, he was granted a new trial in 2015, an order that was upheld by an appeals court in November of last year.

After that ruling, the Polk County Clerk of Courts' Office and the Polk County Attorney's Office were notified, giving prosecutors 90 days to schedule a new trial for Moss. However, the County Attorney's Office never acted.

In March, Moss asked that the case against him be dismissed because a new trial date had not been set. A Polk County judge had no choice but to grant the request, setting Moss free.

Channel 13 reached out to the Polk County Attorney's Office for a comment on Monday about how this happened, but none of the calls were returned.