Once facing a lifetime in prison, Michael Madden is returning to real life.
He was accused of second degree murder for the 2011 shooting death of James Dean Smith in Bossier City.
Madden's attorney, Elton Richey, says his client should never have been put in this position and puts the blame on police misconduct.
"Living in jail, being confined is bad," Richey says. "It's even worse when you're innocent, and you know you're innocent."
Michael Madden's lawyer says his client is focused on returning to a normal life after being accused of the 2011 shooting of James Dean Smith.
Madden was released from custody April 9th- more than a year after the grand jury put him there April 2, 2013.
Richey says- at best- there were several missteps in the investigation.
"They didn't even record their interview with Michael," Richey says. "Which is troubling. You're interviewing someone who is supposed to be a murder suspect, and yet you're not taking a recorded interview?"
At the worst, he says investigators fabricated a case even after their key witness identified another man as the shooter in a live lineup.
"There's a difference between an architectural project and an archaeology dig," Richey says. "An archaeology dig, you're digging through the ground, searching for the truth, trying to see what occurred in the past. In an architectural project, you're trying to construct something in the future. Well, there's a difference between searching for the truth and trying to build a case. And what I can say is, that there were trying to build a case.
The Bossier Police department stands behind their work and denies the use of a live lineup.
Public Information Officer Mark Natale says, "We do not do live line ups, nor do we have the facilities to conduct live line ups. All of the investigators involved in the case are still with the department. No internal investigation is being conducted."
Natale also says the homicide investigation continues with Madden as a suspect.
Despite Richey's distrust of the police investigation, he applauds District Attorney Schuyler Marvin's decision to formally drop the charges against Madden.
Calls to the Bossier Parish District Attorney's office were not returned.
As for the Smith family, the victim's sister, Amy Smith, tells KTBS 3 News that the DA did not inform them in advance that the charges against Madden were going to be dropped.
If you have information regarding the shooting, call CrimeStoppers at (318) 673-7373.