Theft and corrupt business influence charges against a former owner of Grandview Memorial Gardens were dropped Wednesday after a judge ruled too much time had elapsed in the case.

Larry Fox, 58, was indicted in October 2008 on allegations that he withdrew $7,000 from a Grandview account for personal use. Authorities were unable to locate Fox at three of his last known addresses and commenced a grand jury without him being present, a violation of Indiana law.

Indiana law also states that prosecutors have one year to bring a defendant who is out of custody to trial, excluding any delays brought by the defendant.

While the case was still pending in Jefferson County, Fox requested a hearing for change of venue to Monroe County and a motion to discharge due to the length of time that had passed. The motions hearing was held May 24, 2011, and a ruling was not made until May 24, 2012.

"It was reasonable for the defendant to expect that the trial date would not be set until his motions were ruled upon, but that the trial court would rule on his motion in a timely manner," wrote Monroe County Circuit Court Judge Kenneth Todd in his order dismissing the indictment.

Prosecutor Chad Lewis, who was named a special prosecutor in the case after it was venued to Monroe County, said this ruling seemed unfair, given the fact the prosecutors asked for no delays and even objected to two continuances by the defense.

"We did everything we could to push that case to trial, even after the judge had it under advisement for nine months," Lewis said.