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updated: 3/6/2013 8:22 AM

Charges dismissed against deputy marshal

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Associated Press

A federal judge has thrown out charges against a deputy U.S. marshal in Chicago who was accused of violating civil rights laws.

Stephen Linder was accused of punching and choking a handcuffed man in 2010 and obstructing justice for allegedly attempting to persuade another law enforcement officer to withhold evidence of the assault. Linder was also accused of head-butting a handcuffed man in 2008 and obstructing justice.

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In dismissing the charges Tuesday, Judge Virginia Kendall accused the Marshal Service Justice Department lawyers of threatening to fire or prosecute deputies if they gave evidence that would help clear Linder. Kendall said it was a violation of Linder's rights to a fair trial.

Attorney Frank Lipuma told the Chicago Sun-Times that Linder, who was suspended without pay, was "delighted" by the ruling.

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