D.A.: No current plans to take Kim Simon's murder to grand jury


UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - The Oneida County District Attorney's Office announcedFriday that they cannot, at this time, go forward with a prosecution of the 25-year-old murder of Kimberly Simon. The investigation into her death, however, will remain open.

The teen's body was discovered off Mohawk Street in Whitesboro in 1985. Steven Barnes spent nearly 20 years in prison for the crime before DNA evidence freed him in November, 2008.

Since then, the District Attorney's Office resumed the investigation into Simon's death with renewed fervor, even forming a task force dedicated to identifying and prosecuting her killer or killers. But on Friday, news that the two years since Barnes' vindication was not enough to produce adequate evidence to present to a grand jury at this time for a possible indictment, or, formal charge, against her suspected killer or killers.

"We are united in our believe that the worst thing that can happen in this case is for another innocent person to be falsely accused of this heinous crime," says District Attorney Scott McNamara of his meeting on Friday with the prosecution and investigative teams on the case.

McNamara says the investigation will remain open, and new leads will be pursued as they arise.

Reached by phone, Stephen Barnes' mother, Sylvia Bouchard said she didn't want to tell her son the news and expressed great disappointment at the fact that, not only did he spend nearly 20 years in prison for a crime he didn't committ, but the possibility that the real killer(s) might not be brought to justice. Bouchard said she felt for Kimberly Simon's family.

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