Murder Charges Dropped Against Tallahassee Husband

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It was a high profile Tallahassee murder case, but now, after weeks behind bars on charges of killing his wife, Richard Kelley Harte is a free man.

Willie Meggs, state attorney for the Second Judicial Circuit of Florida announced he's dropping the murder charges against Harte, saying it was not clear Barbara Harte died in the hands of another, let alone her husband.

"Today is filled with both joy and sorrow for our family," said Harte's brother Brian Harte. "We are joyful because Kelley is free and returns to us to make our family complete. However, our sorrow over the tragic death of Barbie will never end."

Richard Kelley Harte reunited with family and his three children. Harte had been facing first degree murder charges in the death of his wife Barbara. She was found dead in her bathroom last November. State Attorney Willie Meggs says given the medical examiner could not testify as to how she died he had no choice but to close the case.

"She died, but we don't know that she died at the hands of another person and that's essential. So the options are very few and it's wrong for a person to sit in jail charged with a crime that the state can't prove," said Meggs.

Barbara's death was first reported as a drowning, but an autopsy revealed bruises on her head and arms. A toxicology report showed she had a blood alcohol level of .23 and cocaine in her system.

Harte's Attorney Don Pumphrey says the probable cause in the case was inadmissible. "Because of these charges Mr. Kelley has spent the last 7 weeks incarcerated and his reputation put all over the media was baseless and it could not stand."

At this point Meggs says he doesn't expect any charges to be filed and the case is closed. Attorneys say Richard Kelley Harte does not plan on taking any legal action himself, but is just happy to be released and plans on spending quality time with family.