CLAYTON, Mo. — The mayor of Sunset Hills will not have to stand trial again on felony criminal charges, and on Wednesday he broke his long silence on the issue.
St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch announced on Jan. 27 that he was dropping his case against Mark Furrer.
A mistrial was declared last December in Furrer's first trial.
Although McCulloch initially stated that he was going to press charges a second time, he said it later became clear that the alleged victim in the case could not be trusted.
"The victim had significantly embellished the extent of his injuries and the damage to his bike to such an extent that we could no longer vouch for his testimony," McColluch said.
McCulloch added that he still believes the state's two key witnesses' stories are credible and that the charges are warranted.
He said the evidence is clear Furrer intentionally intended to inflict bodily harm by driving his car into the victim as he was riding his bike.
"The truly tragic part is that the embellishment is irrelevant to our case. The essential elements are he attempted to cause physical injury and damage," McCulloch said.
"The people who know me know I didn't do this, the people who hate me are going to hate all they want," Furrer said. "The people in the middle are the people that I would like to stay ‘I didn't do it, I'm innocent, don't believe the nonsense.'"
Furrer's defense attorneys also stated on Jan. 27 that they agreed the victim's version of events is flawed.
But they disputed the credibility of the witnesses and the validity of the charges, stating that Furrer never acted maliciously.
Attorney Tom Magee said had a jury deliberated a verdict in the first trial, the verdict would have swung in Furrer's favor.
"We spoke with the 12 jurors. It was unanimous that we were going to have a not guilty (verdict), a finding that Mark was innocent probably within 30 minutes. That's what they told us," Magee said.
Furrer has made no public comments regarding McCulloch's decision, but his attorneys stated that the news represented a fresh start for what they described as an emotionally draining ordeal.
"He's never going to convince 100% of the people, but the people who know Mark, know the kind of guy he is," Magee said.