A former Oshawa man accused of murdering his next-door neighbour 34 years ago had his charges withdrawn on Thursday.

Durham region police charged 56-year-old Alan Smith with second-degree murder in March in connection to the force's oldest cold case.

Beverly Smith, no relation to Alan Smith, was shot in the back of the head on the night of Dec. 9, 1974. The 22-year-old was in her Oshawa-area home at the time of the shooting. Her baby daughter was asleep in the next room and left unharmed.

"I didn't not murder Beverly Smith," Alan Smith told reporters outside the courthouse before directing questions to his lawyer.

A Crown attorney told a justice of the peace Thursday there was "no reasonable prospect of conviction." No other details were provided.

Lawyer Tom Balka said the case against his client was weak from the start.

"We're happy the right decision was made and we're happy that Mr. Smith has been vindicated," Balka told reporters. "He's been very clear he's not guilty of this offence."

The lead investigator wouldn't comment on the investigation, but confirmed the Crown's key witness, Smith's ex-wife, is now charged with obstruction of justice.

Smith's family hugged each other outside the Oshawa courthouse after the proceeding, saying they knew all along that he didn't kill the young woman.

Smith's brother George said the ordeal has been difficult for everyone involved.

"I feel bad for the other family and I hope they do find out whoever did it, and I feel bad for my brother -- this has devastated our whole family," he said.

With a report from CTV Toronto's Austin Delaney