Special Prosecutor Drops Murder Charge Against Mark Woodworth

By Jonathan Cooper | jcooper@kq2.com

Published 07/15 2014 03:04PM

Updated 07/15 2014 10:34PM

(CHILLICOTHE, Mo.) A northwest Missouri man will not face a third murder trial in the death of his neighbor.

A special prosecutor dismissed murder charges against Mark Woodworth on Thursday.

"We're just so happy. It just doesn't seem real," Woodworth said. "I had an idea it was coming, but I didn't think it would be this week."

Woodworth was 16-years-old when he was sentenced to life in prison for the fatal shooting of Catherine Robertson in Chillicothe in 1990.

He was convicted twice of Robertson's murder but both convictions were dismissed.

He has been free ever since his second conviction was overturned last year.

For Mark and his family, Tuesday was a special day.

A single balloon floats in the wind in front of the Woodworth family home; a simple reminder of the good news the family received on Tuesday.

"I think we're all kinda in shock that it's actually true," said Jackie Woodworth, Mark's mother.

"I believed for a long time that it was going to be over with," Mark said. "I mean there was no evidence, I knew that the day would come."

Woodworth says the past two decades have been very difficult fighting the legal system. He says he's just ready to move on and start a family.

"I got married in January and just like to have some children and just move on," he said.

For Mark's mother Jackie, the past two decades have been just as difficult.

"You get your hopes up and then they're kinda dashed and then it's like okay you know it's in God's hands so whatever is supposed to happen will happen and things but you just have to keep your faith and hope it all works out in the end," Jackie said.

And on Tuesday, nearly two decades of fear and hopelessness finally came to an end.

"We can move on with our life and not have to worry about going to courts and doing all this kind of stuff," Jackie said.


Woodworth a Free Man

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