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Rosa Chatman, 56, was found dead in her College Hill Courts apartment.
 

The charges against the man accused of killing a woman in College Hill Courts were dropped today in Hamilton County Sessions Court, according to court records.

Bruce Stevenson, 58, was charged with criminal homicide and aggravated assault in the April death of Rosa Chatman, 56. Police said the pair had been in an on-again, off-again relationship for around 20 years.

Both charges were dropped in court today because of a lack of evidence, assistant district attorney Lance Pope said. Pope told Judge Lila Statom that Stevenson's arrest was based on circumstantial evidence that has not "developed favorably for the state" in the three weeks since the arrest.

Pope said Stevenson could be re-charged with the crime in the future.

"Now judge, there are numerous pieces of evidence that are currently at TBI for testing," he said in the hearing. "That evidence may very well come back and implicate the defendant in the crime. If so, he may be recharged. But at this point in time I'm asking the court to dismiss the charges."

Chattanooga police department communications coordinator Kyle Miller said the investigation into Chatman's death is ongoing.

"The Chattanooga Police Department will continue working with the court system by presenting investigative facts and evidence concerning this case," he said in a statement.

When Stevenson was arrested, police said there was a documented history of domestic violence between the pair but declined to say exactly what evidence led to his arrest.

Chatman was found dead in her College Hill Courts apartment on April 15 and was beaten so severely that her skull fractured and she suffered from bleeding around her brain, according to a preliminary report from the Hamilton County medical examiner.

Chatman was also found with a 6-inch gash in her neck, according to the report. Chattanooga Housing Authority employees found Chatman's naked body inside her apartment during a routine inspection.

She was a volunteer at Woodmore Elementary School.

News report about the homicide:

Watch video on Youtube »

This story was updated at 1:26 p.m. on July 9, 2015. The headline previously stated Stevenson was let go. That has not yet happened as of this time.

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