Knox County District Attorney Charme Allen announced Thursday that she was stopping the prosecution of a Knoxville man accused of killing his girlfriend and unborn child.

“I have made the difficult decision to suspend prosecution and nolle prosequi the charges in State v. Norman Eugene Clark relating to the death of Brittany Eldridge and her unborn child,” said Allen in a statement. “As difficult as this decision is, I am confident that it is the appropriate one at this time. The decision to suspend prosecution, however, does not bar the re-filing of charges if new evidence is obtained.”

Nolle prosequi, which means “unwilling to pursue,” essentially means “do not prosecute.” It is commonly used to describe a prosecutor’s decision to discontinue criminal charges. 

Eldridge was strangled, suffocated and stabbed to death in her Knoxville apartment in December 2011. Clark, was the lead suspect in the case.

“I am relieved for Norman and relieved for everyone who was involved,” said Kit Rodgers, Clark’s most recent attorney. “This was a long and hard case for everyone. I’m glad he’s able to get on with his life.”

Read More: Second mistrial declared for Normal Clark case

In August 2015, a jury failed to reach a verdict on Clark. After eight days of testimony and less than 24 hours of deliberation, the 12-member jury ended in deadlock after they couldn’t agree on a verdict. The jury was 11 to 1 in favor of not guilty for Clark.

After more than 17 hours of deliberating in September 2017, 12 jurors told Judge Steven Sword they are hopelessly deadlocked and are unable to return a verdict in the Norman Clark murder retrial.

Eldridge’s family was visibly emotional after Judge Sword declared the case a mistrial. They weren’t ready to speak about the trial, but said they are devastated by the hung jury.

“She was a sweet girl and she was looking forward to having that baby,” said the Eldridge’s family friend, Cheryle Johnston in September 2017. “She deserved much better. It’s just cruel what happened to her.”