First-degree assault and arson charges filed against former Minnesota attorney David John Gherity were dismissed today by the Dakota County Attorney’s Office. The Dismissal Notice filed with the court stated that Gherity had a plausible alibi, and they didn’t feel the case could be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Gherity was accused of setting his girlfriend on fire after first dousing her with hairspray and fingernail polish and then fleeing the scene; had he been convicted, he faced 20 years in prison. From the start, “Gherity maintained his innocence” his attorney Robert D. Miller said from his Minneapolis, Minnesota office. Burnsville Police had reported that fire department officials responded to a complaint that smoke was coming from a condominium on February 9th, 2014. When they arrived, they found the victim on fire sitting at a table. They put the fire out and rushed her to the hospital where she was treated for severe burns. Gherity was later observed at the hospital smelling of smoke and soot. At the time, he claimed he was at work, and there was a video to prove that he was. However, the police forwarded the case for charges without examining the video. After police and state experts had reviewed the video, and other evidence submitted by Miller, the state decided to dismiss the case that received widespread national media coverage mainly condemning Gherity. Miller stated, “I believe the prosecutor was playing the cards she was dealt, and upon reviewing the evidence submitted by the defense, appropriately dismissed the case.” Had it not been for the video, “I’d be in prison for the rest of my life. The case made me look “like a monster internationally,” Gherity told the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
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