January 25, 2010
Prosecutor Charged With Failure To Disclose Exulpatory Evidence
The North Carolina State Bar has recently filed a disciplinary complaint against an assistant district attorney who was assigned to prosecute an arson case. The allegations involve a series of statements given by a witness with whom the defendant was visiting at the time of the arson. The witness originally sais that she was out of her home running errands for over 2 1/2 hours. The arson took place close to her home, giving the defendant plenty of time to burn and return. The prosecutor turned this statement over to the defense.
The witness later gave two statements that greatly decreased the defendant's window of opportunity to commit the crime. The State Bar alleges that these exculpatory statements, and other confirming information, were not disclosed as required by statute and case law. The statements came to light during the trial and had resulted in a mistrial. The prosecutor is also charged with deceiving the defendant and his counsel about the evidence against him. (Mike Frisch)
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