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Authorities Accuse Witness of Lying

October 17, 2001

ST. LOUIS (AP) _ Murder charges against two brothers in the 1991 disappearance of an 11-year-old boy were dismissed Wednesday after investigators charged their main witness with perjury.

Lincoln County authorities said the witness, Joshua Spangler, crafted a detailed story incriminating the brothers because he hated them, law enforcement and others in the county.

``Spangler stated that he wanted to get back at them all,″ the sheriff’s department said in a statement.

Spangler has pleaded guilty to killing the boy, Arlin Henderson, and had agreed to testify against the brothers. He is being treated as a juvenile defendant because he was 13 when the boy disappeared.

Spangler allegedly told authorities that George Gibson, 29, forced him to kill Arlin while holding him at gunpoint. He also said Charles Gibson, George’s older brother, paid him $10,000 to kidnap and kill the boy because someone in Arlin’s family owed him money.

First-degree murder charges against the Gibsons have been dropped.

The elder Gibson, who was partially paralyzed in an auto accident, is serving a 30-year sentence in a federal prison hospital in Minnesota for running a methamphetamine operation.

Henderson was last seen riding his bicycle near his mother’s Moscow Mills mobile home in 1991. Police say the investigation remains open.

The FBI spent three days in August looking for Henderson’s remains or evidence of a crime near a burned-out house where they were led to believe the child was buried. No body or murder weapon have ever been found.

Update hourly