HANCOCK COUNTY — A county man facing a felony charge of breaking into a county home in 2019 had the case dismissed last week in Hancock County Circuit Court.
Jason L. Munden, 32, Maxwell, had been charged with a Level 4 felony count of burglary and a Class A misdemeanor charge of theft with the most serious charge carrying up to 12 years in prison.
Munden was supposed to have a jury trial Feb. 21 in circuit court, but instead an order granting a motion to dismiss the case was filed Feb. 17 and approved by Judge Scott Sirk last week, court records show.
Officials from the Hancock County Prosecutor’s office noted they filed a “motion to dismiss without prejudice” order due to the fact an essential witness faced significant health conditions making it detrimental to his overall well-being to appear in court. The motion to dismiss order states an essential witness in this case has been diagnosed with terminal metastatic cancer and is actively undergoing chemotherapy.
“The State must consider a multitude of factors when making decisions about whether to proceed to trial or not including the health and safety of those involved in the litigation, as jeopardy attaches once the jury is sworn in,” chief deputy prosecutor Aimee Herring said.
Despite the dismissal of the 2019 charges, Munden is still facing time behind bars. Munden was sentenced in May 2022 to two years in federal prison after pleading guilty to unlawful possession of a firearm by a person previously convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.
In accordance with that crime, court documents show, on March 1, 2021, deputies from the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office served a warrant to arrest Munden for burglary charges for a different crime committed in February, 2021. During the arrest, deputies found a short barrel rifle they suspected belonged to Munden. Munden was detained and placed a monitored phone call in which he admitted that the rifle belonged to him, in one instance referring to it as his “hand cannon.”
Munden was previously convicted of domestic battery after he punched a victim in the face and threatened to kill the person. As a result of that domestic violence conviction, Munden was prohibited from possessing firearms.
As for that Level 4 felony count of burglary and other charges from the different burglary in February of 2021, those charges were dismissed in October of 2021 due to the federal charges filed.
A search of federal prison inmates showed Munden was not listed as an inmate just yet. However, Herring noted, at the time of Munden’s release from the Hancock County Jail on the 2019 charge listed above, the prosecutor’s office was advised he had a detainer for a federal case.