KALISPELL, Mont. - A judge dismissed a case against a man accused of trying to hire someone to kill his ex-wife and a victim's advocate. We spoke with the family of Matthew Heuer's ex-wife, and they say they're outraged.
Prosecutors accused Heuer of offering a truck and some cash to his cell mate if the man would kill Heuer's ex-wife, Tarsha, and another woman. The case hinged on a recorded conversation between Heuer and the inmate.
It turns out the audio wasn't clear enough. Prosecutors sent that tape to the FBI to get cleaned up, but even then it was still inaudible.
Prosecutors then asked for a continuance and to dismiss the case without prejudice, meaning they could have re-filed charges. Instead, the charges were dismissed with prejudice.
The charges were dismissed only 40 minutes before a jury trial was set to begin.
Sean Hinchey, Heuer's attorney, says it was dismissed because the lack of evidence.
"I think, in this case, justice sort of dictated that it had to be dismissed...The only evidence that the state had turned to out to be two unreliable jailhouse informants," Hinchey said.
NBC Montana looked through court documents and tried to get a hold of that audio recording, but heard no response from the prosecutor's office.
The court documents detailed the case against Heuer. In those documents it says Heuer had asked his cell mate to inject Tarsha Heuer with methamphetamine, so she would overdose.
"It's literally hell. I've never seen my sister the way that she has been lately. I've never thought for sure that something would happen, but she's told me over and over that 'he's going to kill me,'" said Tarsha Heuer's sister, Kimisha Waller.
Tarsha's sister and other family members can't believe the case is over. They are all worried.
"I think it's a joke. I don't think we were ever given a chance to prove our side and to tell our story and to get Tarsha the justice she needs," Waller said.
Tarsha did get an order of protection. But family members feel Heuer is still a dangerous man and can be capable of anything.