Charges dropped against double murder suspect

Picture of Gopaldas from his initial arrest

Murder charges have been dropped against Hiralkumar Gopaladas because of insufficient evidence to prosecute, according to court documents.

Gopaldas was accused of stabbing his wife Punam Gopaldas, 31, and his mother-in-law, Vinaben Patel, 57, to death at their home at the Country Club of South Carolina in Florence County in June 2011.

In May, Circuit Court Michael Nettles granted the prosecution's request to delay the trial of Gopaldas. Http://

The case was being prosecuted by the SC Attorney General's Office. It was initially investigated by the Florence County Sheriff's Office, but was turned over to the State Law Enforcement Division.

The investigation continues.

Friday afternoon, Gopaldas and his attorney Rosemary Parham released the following statement.

"The dismissal of the charges against Hiral Gopaldas and his father proves what we have said all along- that they are innocent.

This is a case where law enforcement rushed to judgement and charged two innocent men with no evidence and left my client in jail for 10 months away from his three-year-old son.

This is a case where law enforcement used improper tactics, including the unethical taping of two attorneys. What is most appalling about this case is that law enforcement has known for six months that my client is innocent and that there is a killer on the loose, but done nothing about it.

These groundless charges have been pending for more than a year without even being presented to a grand jury.

It is amazing citizens could be treated this way in the 21st Century.

This injustice is a disgrace to our system and represents law enforcment at its worst."