Davis was charged in January with breaking into a then-19-year-old Southeast Missouri State University student's basement apartment and raping her at knife point in 1980.
The case was scheduled for a preliminary hearing Tuesday, but Julie Hunter, assistant prosecuting attorney, said the case had been dismissed, subject to refiling in the future. She did not elaborate on the reason for the dismissal.
Davis was serving nine life sentences for a series of sexual assaults in St. Louis County when DNA evidence implicated him in the 1980 attack in Cape Girardeau.
The case was continued several times before being dismissed.
Davis initially was scheduled for arraignment April 22, but his incomprehensible response to routine questions about his legal representation prompted Judge Gary Kamp to continue the case.
During the April 22 hearing, Kamp asked Davis three questions: whether he planned to hire his own lawyer, whether he wanted to request a public defender and whether he planned to represent himself.
Davis, who appeared in court via a satellite link from the prison in Potosi, Mo., looked sleepy and disinterested as he mumbled, "No," in response to all three questions.
At the time, Kamp continued the case to May 6, advising Davis that he would have to represent himself if he had not made a decision about his legal counsel by then.
Court records show that to give Davis time to complete an application for a public defender, the case then was continued to May 13, at which time he was found indigent.
According to an Oct. 29, 1980, article in the Southeast Missourian, the victim told police her attacker removed a screen from her window, placed a pillow over her head and raped her.
Former Cape Girardeau police chief Henry H. Gerecke told the Southeast Missourian neither the victim nor her roommate -- who was asleep at the time -- saw her attacker.
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