Charges dismissed against Saudi suspect in Whitworth murder

Written by Muleskinner Staff

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to include comment from the Warrensburg Police Department. 
By ANDY LYONS (WARRENSBUG, Mo., digitalBURG) The Johnson County, Mo., Prosecutor’s Office released a statement revealing that it has dismissed a case against a Saudi national accused in the murder of  Warrensburg bar owner William “Blaine” Whitworth.
Prosecutor Lynn M. Stoppy said Ziyad T. Abid was originally charged based on evidence resulting from the criminal investigation.
“Very recently, our understanding of evidence previously obtained from a critical witness has changed. As a result, the state is currently left without sufficient evidence to support the prosecution at this time,” Stoppy said in a news release.
The Warrensburg Police Department expressed disappointment with the dismissal.
“As a law enforcement agency, our job is to investigate crimes to the fullest, and then not intercede in the prosecution process once the case has been turned over to them,” the statement reads. “We have full faith and the utmost respect in our prosecuting attorney and the State Attorney General’s Office and the difficult decisions they have to make.”
Abid, 24, has been in Johnson County Jail since his arrest Sept. 5 on first-degree murder and armed criminal action charges in the Sept. 1 shooting of Whitworth, who owned Molly’s and Bodie’s, two bars in Warrensburg. Abid was arrested after his roommate, Reginald Singletary Jr., told investigators he killed Whitworth but said Abid paid him to do it, according to a court record.
John R. Osgood, one of Abid’s attorneys, said that he expects Abid’s release to happen “very quickly” now that charges have been dismissed. He also stated that Abid still has a U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement Agency retainer on him because his student visa is revoked. Due to the retainer, once released Abid could end up in ICE custody after his release from Johnson County Jail.