Associated Press Published

Charges Dropped After 1990 Conviction of Ex-Athlete Vacated

Jimmie Gardner

A former Charleston professional baseball player who was convicted in a 1987 sexual assault case but had his sentence vacated earlier this year will not have to stand trial again.

Prosecutors said at a Wednesday hearing that they were dropping charges against 50-year-old Jimmie Gardner because their case wasn’t strong enough to present to a jury.

A judge in March overturned Gardner’s 1990 convictions of sexual assault and burglary. The judge said the trial had been tainted by false testimony from then-state police forensic serologist Fred Zain, whose discredited work resulted in millions of dollars paid to wrongfully convicted defendants.

Gardner had served more than 25 years of his 33- to 110-year prison sentence by the time he was released on bond in April.