A Baltimore County Circuit judge threw out yesterday robbery and burglary charges against a man also accused of the bloody murders of his parents, saying "I would never convict anyone on these facts."
But Judge John Grason Turnbull II refused to dismiss the murder charges against John George Dietz III at the close of the prosecution's case.
Mr. Dietz, who could face the death penalty, is accused of killing Lillian and John George Dietz Jr., whose bodies were found Oct. 28, 1990, in the bedroom of their house on a horse farm near Patapsco State Park in the 7700 block of Inwood Road.
They had been stabbed, shot with a shotgun at close range and severely beaten during the pre-dawn hours of Oct. 25, the prosecution said.
A shotgun and the couple's red Camaro were missing from the home, but there was no sign of a break-in of the house or the car, the police said.
Several prosecution witnesses said the parents routinely kept keys to the house and to the Camaro in their pickup truck.
The gun was never found, but the Camaro turned up in the parking lot of a nearby apartment complex, untampered with and locked.
Mark Christopher Brown, a 16-year-old student from nearby Chadwick Manor, testified for the defense that he was admiring the car on Oct. 27 when he saw a man with the initials "D.J." shaved into his head open the trunk to stow a briefcase.
Looking at Mr. Dietz in the courtroom, the youth testified he was not the man who opened the trunk.
August Deitz, of Baltimore, a cousin of the slain father, testified that he was cutting wood the evening of Oct. 25 less than a block from the Dietzes' farm when he saw their red Camaro pull out of their driveway, followed closely by a black, four-wheel-drive vehicle.
He said that the vehicles pulled out with their lights off, then sped off, and that he couldn't see inside them.