Murder Charge Dropped Against Massachusetts Man Because of Low IQ

A Lawrence man accused of beating another man to death outside a bar nine years ago has been freed by a judge who said he had no choice because of the man's low IQ.

Eric Falaradeau was charged with second-degree murder in connection with the October 2000 death of William Beal of Salem, N.H.

Judge Howard Whitehead dropped charges against the 29-year-old Falardeau on Tuesday, saying he would never go to trial because learning disabilities prevent him from understanding the proceedings, and he can't be committed to a psychiatric hospital because he is not considered mentally ill.

Falardeau's attorney, Raymond Buso, says the judge's decision was correct because his client cannot understand complex things.

An Essex district attorney spokesman called the dismissal "unfortunate."