ST. LOUIS (AP) — A judge has dismissed a St. Louis double murder case because the suspect has been in jail since August without a preliminary hearing or indictment.

Willie E. Little, 63, was charged with two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of armed criminal action in the deaths of Toni Washburn, 41, and Mark Kuhlenberg, 62, whose bodies were found in a pickup truck on Aug. 16, 2019.

Washburn was the mother of Little's two children and Kuhlenberg was her new boyfriend.

Associate Circuit Judge Craig Higgins on Thursday threw out the case after Little's public defender, Nora Curran, argued Little's nearly six months in jail without an indictment or preliminary hearing violated Missouri Supreme Court rules requiring a preliminary hearing be held “within a reasonable” time after felony charges are filed. In most criminal cases in the 22nd Circuit, prosecutors seek grand jury indictments within 90 days of charges being filed, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

A spokeswoman for the Circuit Attorney's Office could not be reached for comment Friday.

Police said Washburn and Kuhlenberg were shot days before their bodies were found in a pickup truck after residents reported a foul odor and blood leaking from the truck.