Charges, lawsuit dropped against Sunset Hills mayor

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CLAYTON, MO (KPLR) - The mayor of Sunset Hills is off the hook.  The prosecutor said he will not try him a second time on charges he hit a cyclist.  The attorney for the cyclist in a civil suit said he has also dropped that lawsuit.

Prosecutor Bob McCulloch said Randy Murdick not only exaggerated but lied on the witness stand about a number of things.  McCulloch said, “The victim (Murdick) had significantly embellished the extent of his injuries and especially the damage to his bike so we were no longer able to vouch for his testimony.”

Sunset Hills Mayor Mark Furrer was charged with running his car into Randy Murdick who was on his bike near Gravois and 270.  On his Facebook page Furrer said, “I am happy to announce that all charges against me have been dropped. Thank you to all that supported me during this nightmare. To be accused of something that did not happen is horrifying. But even worse is the response of those that declared me guilty, in a country where you are innocent until proven guilty this is unforgivable and will not be forgotten.”

The case went to trial in December. On what was shaping up to be the last day of testimony a question concerning the mayor possibly offering a $10,000 settlement in a civil suit led to a mistrial. Within hours McCulloch said was going to retry the mayor, “The ruling is wrong. The mistrial is certainly not warranted.”

Wednesday McCulloch did the opposite. He said his number one witness, Murdick, the cyclist, was no longer believable. McCulloch added, “I can’t put the guy on the stand knowing that that’s what he said it’s just so way off the mark.”

He said Murdick’s testimony did not allow for perjury charges under state law.

Furrer’s attorney’s held a late afternoon news conference.  Daniel Bruntrager, an attorney for Furrer said, “We just from the get go could not believe the complaining witness.”  He and his fellow attorney Tom Magee said even if the trial continued jurors told them the mayor would have been found not guilty.  Magee said, “It was unanimous we were going to have a not guilty and finding Mark was innocent probably within 30 minutes.”

Murdick’s civil attorney tells me he’s dropped their civil suit and no longer represents the cyclist but would not say why. We tried to contact Murdick but have not heard from him.  On a Facebook page that appears to be his he posted an insulting message for the Mayor and his attorneys.

McCulloch still believes the mayor was at fault and did hit Murdick. But it will never come to trial.

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