LOS ANGELES, CA ‰?? Criminal charges stemming from a 2008 laboratory fire that killed a research assistant were dismissed against a UCLA chemistry professor last week, nine months earlier than expected and over the objection of prosecutors, the District Attorney's Office confirmed Tuesday.
Patrick Harran entered into a five-year deferred-prosecution agreement with the District Attorney's Office in 2014. Under the agreement, Harran was ordered to meet a series of requirements, including 800 hours of non- teaching community service at the UCLA Hospital System/UCLA Health Services.
Although that agreement was not scheduled to end until next June, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge George Lomeli ruled during a hearing last Thursday that Harran had already met all the terms of the agreement, and he dismissed the criminal case against him, according to the District Attorney's Office.
Greg Risling, spokesman for the District Attorney's Office, said prosecutors objected to the dismissal, which was granted "nine months earlier when the case was set to be dismissed."
Harran, who still works at UCLA, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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