Last charge dismissed against anti-abortion activists in Planned Parenthood case

HOUSTON -- A Texas judge on Tuesday dismissed the last remaining charge against two California anti-abortion activists who made undercover videos of themselves trying to buy fetal tissue from Planned Parenthood.

District Judge Brock Thomas dismissed the tampering with government records charge against 27-year-old David Daleiden and 63-year-old Sandra Merritt upon the request of the Harris County prosecutor's office.

VIDEO: Harris County grand jury indicts anti-abortion activists behind videos
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A Harris County grand jury investigating an undercover video of Planned Parenthood found no wrongdoing by the organization.

VIDEO: Anti-abortion activist surrenders in Houston
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Sandra Merritt is now in police custody after she was indicted after a Planned Parenthood sting in Houston

Defense attorneys said the pair never should have been indicted. If they had been convicted of the felony charge, each could have been sentenced to up to 20 years in prison.

Prosecutors alleged that Daleiden and Merritt used fake driver's licenses to conceal their identities while dealing with Planned Parenthood. The videos accused Planned Parenthood of illegally selling fetal tissue to researchers for profit.

VIDEO: Second anti-abortion activist surrenders in Planned Parenthood video case
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A 2nd anti-abortion activist has surrendered following an indictment in the Planned Parenthood video case

VIDEO: Houston prosecutor has angered anti-abortion groups before

Harris County DA Devon Anderson is facing some heat following the indictments of two popular anti-abortion activists.

Merritt and Daleiden, who founded a group called the Center for Medical Progress, previously rejected plea deals offering them probation.

Texas authorities initially began a grand jury investigation of Planned Parenthood after the undercover videos were released last August.

But the grand jury cleared Planned Parenthood of misusing fetal tissue and instead indicted Merritt and Daleiden, who has said he was working undercover as a journalist to expose illegalities in the handling of fetal tissue.

SEE ALSO: Misdemeanor charge dropped against activist in Planned Parenthood case

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