By Carol Mckinley
Charges against one of three suspects in the murder of longtime Aspen, Colorado, resident and socialite Nancy Pfister have been dropped, according to prosecutors in this playground of the rich and famous.
Nancy Styler, 62, is out of jail after the 9th Judicial District Attorney’s Office abruptly dropped criminal charges including first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first degree murder and accessory after the fact against her at an emergency court hearing today. The DA said new evidence, which it did not disclose, led to the dismissal.
“With the new information received and a lack of other evidence refuting the new information the district attorney could not prove that Ms. Styler was involved in the crimes,” the DA said in a statement.
Pfister’s daughter, Juliana, was in the courtroom for the announcement. The rest of Pfister’s family listened to the hearing on the phone.
Styler’s attorney, Garth McCarty, has maintained that the authorities did not have enough evidence to convict her. “We’re very relieved that Nancy is free,” he told ABC News.
Styler and her husband, William “Trey” Styler, 66, rented Pfister’s Buttermilk home late last fall. Both have been in custody since their arrest at a local hotel on the murder charges March 3.
Pfister’s father founded the Buttermilk Ski Resort. Her body was found in a closet at her home on February 26.
Just last week, unsealed arrest affidavits revealed that law enforcement found nine spots of blood in the Stylers’ Jaguar interior and in the trunk. The murder weapon, according to the documents, was found in a trash bag close to the Stylers’ hotel room.
Trey Styler remains in jail. A third suspect, Pfister’s friend and bookkeeper Katherine Carpenter, 56, was also still in custody in a separate facility. Both of them are charged with first-degree murder and other counts.
A hearing in the case is scheduled for Friday morning in Pitkin County Court.