(Lander, Wyo.) – In August, 66-year-old James Jagers had spent 144 days in the Fremont County Detention Center in connection with the theft of missing person Larry Marvin Morris’s vehicle 40 years ago. But he was released after charges were reduced to a misdemeanor. Fremont County and Prosecuting Attorney Michael Bennett cited a lack of meaningful information provided by Jagers as a reason for the man’s release.
“The Fremont County Attorney’s Office realizes the importance of bringing closure to the disappearance of Mr. Morris,” Bennett wrote. “While this newest investigation, and prosecution, failed to deliver the desired result, we recognize the difficulties in this type of endeavor. Efforts are ongoing to resolve this case.”
In April, the Fremont County Attorney’s Office filed charges in Lander Circuit Court against the 66-year-old in connection with a 1974 motor vehicle theft that could be linked to Morris’s disappearance.
The original information filed on April 2 charged Jagers, 66, with Grand Larceny and Theft of an Automobile. Each charge is a felony punishable by between one and 10 years in prison. In August, however, he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor petty larceny and was given credit for time served and released.
“In April 2013, Jagers was charged with felony larceny for the theft of Mr. Morris’ car,” Bennett wrote. “At this time, however, (suspected cohort) James Lincoln was deceased, further exacerbating the evidentiary problems in this matter. Once contacted, James Jagers failed to provide meaningful information in a manner sufficient to proceed with the felony prosecution.”
Read Bennett’s complete statement below. (Read more on the case here.)