ROUND ROCK (AP) -- A former University of Texas basketball player is free after more than a year in a suburban Austin jail awaiting trial on a murder charge that prosecutors now have dropped.
Patric Fairs, 47, walked out of the Williamson County jail Friday after prosecutors moved to dismiss charges that he strangled his 33-year-old girlfriend in 2006 at their home in Round Rock, just north of Austin.
Fairs was charged in 2011 and his trial was scheduled to begin in a week.
Jeremiah Williams, one of Fair's attorneys, told the Austin American-Statesman there were "multiple items of evidence, including DNA and fingerprints, which had yet to undergo forensic testing by law enforcement."
Williams said after he made a request for the complete law enforcement file in Fairs' case, he received 4,500 pages of documents, reports and photos. He determined some fingerprints from the scene of the slaying of Philise Lateria Estes didn't match Fairs' prints and some blood from the scene had not been identified.
Williamson County District Attorney John Bradley agreed, saying one of his assistants handling the case determined there was additional physical evidence that would need forensics testing.
"In addition, there is additional investigation that is needed," Bradley said. "In the interest of justice, (the prosecutor) dismissed the case while that testing and investigation takes place because it may take substantial time to complete. When completed, the case will be presented to a grand jury for consideration."
Grand jurors could indict Fairs again "should the evidence support it," Bradley said.
He wouldn't say why some of the evidence hadn't been tested earlier.
Fairs was indicted and extradited from California, where he was living and teaching basketball.
He played basketball for two seasons at the University of Texas in the 1980s and was the team's most valuable player as a senior in the 1986-87 season. He was drafted by Washington in the NBA and wound up playing professionally in Australia.
Williams said Fairs wasn't available for comment.
"He actually harbors no anger toward (Williamson County) or the system," Williams said. "He's very religious, and he thanked me and thanked his wife. They wrote each other almost 1,000 letters while he was in jail."
Estes was found dead by a neighbor on Jan. 30, 2006. Williams said Fairs was "out and about doing errands" most of the day.
At the time, Estes was working as a security guard at the University of Texas.