PITTSBURGH - The criminal case against celebrity pathologist Dr. Cyril Wecht ended yesterday when federal prosecutors, citing a judge's ruling that threw out much of the government's evidence, dropped all the remaining fraud and theft counts against him.

Prosecutors originally indicted Wecht, the former Allegheny County medical examiner, on 84 counts in January 2006. The case was whittled down before trial, which ended in a hung jury, and trimmed again after trial. Wecht had 14 counts remaining, but the government's case was undermined when a judge threw out two search warrants on may 14.

Wecht, 78, is renowned for his work on deaths such as those of Elvis Presley, JonBenet Ramsey and Vince Foster.

The final counts dropped yesterday had accused him of overbilling private clients for limousines and air fares; ripping off prosecutors for mileage fees as an expert witness; and using his county government staff to benefit his multimillion-dollar private practice. *