- Associated Press - Friday, March 6, 2015

RENO, Nev. (AP) - A timeline of key events in the clearing of a Nevada woman of murder and in the investigation of the Gypsy Hill murder after new DNA evidence surfaces.

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Nov. 27, 1975 - A 33-year-old blackjack dealer at a Reno casino is raped while walking home on the edge of downtown and days later Rodney Halbower, a 27-year-old native of Muskegon Heights, Michigan, is arrested and charged with the crime.

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December 1975 - Halbower is released on bail.

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Jan. 8, 1976 - Body of Veronica “Ronnie” Cascio, 18, is discovered at Sharp Park Golf Course in Pacifica, California

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Jan. 24, 1976 - Tanya Blackwell, 14, is reported missing after she last was seen leaving her Pacifica home. Her body was found in June off Gypsy Hill Road in Pacifica.

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Feb. 6, 1976 - Body of Paula Baxter, 17, is found in the brush behind a church in Millbrae, California.

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Feb. 24, 1976 - Body of Michelle Mitchell, a 19-year-old nursing student, is found in a garage on the edge of the University of Nevada.

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March 15, 1976 - Carol Booth, 26, is reported missing after she was last seen walking toward her home in South San Francisco. Her body was found in May near a former golf driving range between Kaiser Hospital and Mission Road.

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April 1, 1976 - Body of Denise Lampe, 19, is found in her 1964 Mustang in the parking lot of Serramonte Mall in Daly City, California.

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April 7, 1977 - Nevada Supreme Court rejects Halbower’s appeal of his conviction and life sentence on the Reno rape charge. Months later, Halbower escapes from prison, but soon is recaptured.

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March 1979 - Reno police learn Cathy Woods, a mental patient at a Louisiana hospital, has confessed to killing “a woman named Michelle” in Reno three years earlier.

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Dec. 13, 1979 - Woods is arraigned on a first-degree murder charge in Washoe District Court in Reno for the 1976 killing of Michelle Mitchell.

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Dec. 11, 1980 - A jury finds Woods guilty of first-degree murder.

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Jan. 7, 1981 - Woods is formally sentenced to life in prison without parole.

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May 8, 1985 - Nevada Supreme Court overturns Woods’ conviction and orders a new trial.

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Dec. 24, 1985 - A Washoe County district court jury finds Woods guilty a second time of first-degree murder and she is re-sentenced to life in prison without parole.

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December 1986 - Halbower and another inmate escape from the Nevada state prison in Carson City and steal a vehicle in Sacramento, California, before Halbower returns to Oregon. He’s later convicted there of attempted murder in the stabbing of a woman but returned to Nevada to continue serving his previous sentence.

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Nov. 21, 2013 - Halbower submits a DNA sample as required by law when he is paroled from prison in Nevada and transferred to an Oregon prison to begin serving his sentence for attempted murder.

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Feb. 10, 2014 - Washoe County public defender Maizie Pusich files a motion on Woods’ behalf seeking a new trial based on new DNA evidence.

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March 6, 2014 - The FBI in San Francisco announces the launch of a joint investigation with Bay Area law enforcement, Reno police and the Washoe County sheriff into new evidence that shows a link between Mitchell’s death and some of the crime scenes associated with the “Gypsy Hill” murders.

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Sept. 8, 2014 - The FBI confirms DNA evidence establishes Halbower as a person of interest in the killings of Mitchell and the five “Gypsy Hill” victims in 1976.

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Sept. 10, 2014 - Washoe District Judge Patrick Flanagan vacates Woods’ conviction and schedules a retrial for July 13, 2015.

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Jan. 22, 2015 - Halbower is formally charged in San Mateo County in California with two counts of first-degree murder in the killings of Cascio and Baxter.

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March 6, 2015 - Washoe County District Attorney Chris Hicks announces he’s filing a motion to dismiss the murder charge against Woods in the death of Mitchell.

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