Albany Marine cleared of murder charges

By Web Staff – email

ALBANY, AL (WTVM) – After spending three months in jail on a bogus murder charge, an Albany Marine walked out of the Dougherty County jail as a free man.

Sgt. James Michael Eppler was arrested in February and charged with the shooting death of his wife, Natalie.

She was shot in the head as the couple argued at their apartment on West Gordon Avenue.

Eppler was taken to jail the night of the shooting and has remained there since.

The district attorney acknowledged evidence showed Natalie Eppler's death was, in fact, suicide and that the murder charge against Eppler is dropped.

WALB learned that the coroner ruled it a suicide last week, but it was not made public and Eppler was not freed until Tuesday.

Copyright 2011 WTVM. All rights reserved. WALB contributed to this report.