Mahoning County Judge Maureen Sweeney ruled Monday to dismiss charges of murder, having weapons despite being a felon and carrying a concealed weapon against Paul Brown, 35.
In May, Sweeney
ordered AT&T phone company to provide all incoming and outgoing calls from two memory cards on Brown's cell phone.
One card was in Brown's phone when he
The other, defense attorneys claim, was a blank card inserted into Brown's phone.
wrote in her
decision on Monday that someone in the police department ripped open a sealed evidence bag containing Brown's cell phone.
The original memory card was replaced with a different card, rendering the phone inoperable.
previously ordered the bag to be brought to court where she
saw the seal broken and the evidence bag taped shut with clear tape.
admonished Youngstown police and the Mahoning County
Prosecutor's office in her
"The court finds the mishandling of the cell phone while in the Youngstown police's custody extremely disturbing," Sweeney
A mistrial was declared by Sweeney
in January after it was discovered that Youngstown Police Lt.