KANSAS CITY, KS (KCTV) -- Charges against Pete Coones were officially dropped Thursday in a local double murder which is now considered a murder-suicide.

A Kansas City, Kansas man is free after spending more than 12 years in prison for a double murder he swears he didn’t do.

Coones legal team argued Kathleen Schroll wasn’t a victim. She was the killer. And that she killed her husband then turned the gun on herself.

Kathleen placed a frantic call to her mother claiming Pete Coones was in the house. Coone’s legal team says that’s not true. Kathleen was simply trying to pin the crimes on a third person. Coones has served more than 12 years in prison.

Coones legal team recently discovered a 4th bullet in the case by reviewing old crime scene photos. The judge seemed baffled at the original work done by KCKPD and how detectives failed to connect the dots.

The recent hearing reviewed Kathleen Schroll’s financial records which revealed financial pressures.

New testing revealed gunshot powder on Kathleen Schroll’s own hands. Why that testing never originally took place is unknown.

The judge said there were important lessons to be learned from this case and Coones was lucky to have excellent legal representation which exposed a much different version of events.

The judge had tough words for the former prosecutor and the methods used- which includes a jailhouse informant that even the judge characterized as unreliable.

Ed Brancart is no longer a prosecutor with Wyandotte County. He’s now the senior assistant Attorney General for the state of Kansas. We reached out to that office for comment.

Coones' legal team included the Midwest Innocence Project and the Morgan Pilate law firm.

Petes Coones, family, legal team

Pete Coones is pictured with his family and his legal team. 

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