Defense lawyer Julia Gatto says the judge ruled late Monday there was insufficient evidence to support the conviction of Gilberto Valle (VAL'-ee. Valle was acquitted of kidnapping conspiracy charges. He could have faced life in prison.
Valle was convicted in March 2013 and hadn't yet been sentenced.
A jury concluded he wasn't just fantasizing when he conversed online with others he had never met about killing and cooking his wife and others in a cannibalism plot.
Gatto says the judge's "decision validates what we have said since the beginning: there was no crime."
Prosecutors had argued Valle took steps to carry out his plot, including looking up potential targets on a restricted law enforcement database.