MURRIETA (AP) — A judge has dismissed a murder charge filed against a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center where a man died after seeking help to treat a drinking problem.

Riverside County Superior Court Judge Elaine Kiefer ruled Friday there was insufficient evidence to support a second-degree murder charge against A Better Tomorrow and four of its employees in the 2010 death of patient Gary Benefield.

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In her ruling, Kiefer wrote there was no evidence the treatment center acted with malice when employees gave Benefield drugs intended to ease his discomfort.

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Benefield collapsed by his bed and died shortly after arriving at A Better Tomorrow in Murrieta. His body was found in the morning.

The facility’s attorneys say the case was the first time a California corporation was accused of murder.

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