Murder Charges Dropped Against Allegan Co. Landlord… For Now

Posted at 3:22 PM, Nov 14, 2013
and last updated 2013-11-14 16:24:11-05

conleyALLEGAN COUNTY, Mich. — Marion Conley was released from jail Wednesday after being accused of open murder for the March killing of his tenant.

Although the charges against the 79-year-old Allegan County landlord were dropped for lack of evidence, officials say the case is not over.

The Allegan County Sheriff’s Department said that although there was enough evidence to send Conley to trial, there was not enough to convince a jury beyond a reasonable doubt.  This includes missing the gun used to commit the murder.

Because there is no statute of limitations on murder and these charges were dropped without prejudice, prosecutors can recharge Conley at a later date if they collect more evidence.

The Oshtemo Township man was accused in the March 8 shooting of 37-year-old Jody Ray Snyder, who was living at a Valley Township home with his son.  Investigators claim Conley threatened to kill him after an argument over the house’s condition and late payments.

In addition to the murder charges, Conley also faced charges of felony firearm possession and resisting and obstructing police.

While in jail awaiting trial in May, an inmate claimed that Conley had bragged and laughed about killing Snyder, saying that he shot him, “about three to five times.”

Conley’s wife, Maliva, also testified May 9 that her husband behaved strangely after coming back home from Snyder’s house the night he was killed.

“He made a comment that – he said – told me not to say nothing about his pistol,” she testified.