Articles Tagged with wrongfully convicted

J. Bradley Smith of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “Do I need to hire an attorney if I have been falsely accused?”

 

Two Robeson County men were freed earlier this week from the North Carolina Department of Corrections after serving 30 years for the rape and murder of an 11-year-old girl in 1983. Henry McCollum and Leon Brown were freed after DNA extracted from a cigarette butt near the girl’s body implicated another man.

Scale Charlotte DWI Attorney North Carolina Criminal Defense LawyerNow members of a Gaston County family say the man—Roscoe Artis—was involved in the 1980 rape and killing of 30-year-old Bernice Moss. Artis was once a suspect in Moss’s killing, according to Charlotte’s WBTV. Moss’s body was found in a wooded area of Gaston County that is now home to a Walmart.

Artis is already serving a life sentence for the 1983 rape and murder of Joann Brockman. Brockman’s rape and murder occurred less than a month after the rape and killing of Katrina Buie. Mr. McCollum and Mr. Brown were initially convicted of raping and killing Buie. McCollum was sentenced to death, while Brown was sentenced to life in prison.

Artis’s criminal history of multiple rapes and assaults dates back to 1957, according to a witness who testified at McCollum’s and Brown’s hearing last Monday. He lived with his sister in a house near the soybean field where Sabrina Buie’s body was found. Artis, now 74, has insisted that he knows McCollum and Brown did not kill Buie, but he denied that he was involved in Buie’s death, even though he admitted seeing the girl the night she went missing and said he knew her because she used to buy cigarettes from him.

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J. Bradley Smith of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “Should I talk to the police?”

 

Two men imprisoned over 30 years for the 1983 rape and murder of an eleven-year-old girl will be freed today after a Robeson County Superior Court judge overturned their convictions.

Discarded Cigarette Charlotte DWI Attorney North Carolina Criminal Defense LawyerRobeson County Prosecutor Johnson Britt told Judge Douglas Sasser that new DNA tests of a cigarette butt found near the victim’s body negated the evidence presented at the men’s trials. Even if the men were granted new trials, Britt said, “The state does not have a case to prosecute.” Britt was not involved in the men’s earlier criminal trials.

After hearing from Britt and other witnesses, Sasser ordered the men to be released.

The men—Henry McCollum and Leon Brown—were just 19 and 15, respectively, at the time of the murder. They alleged that they were coerced into confessing to the crime under pressure from law-enforcement officials. McCollum told the Raleigh News & Observer that he had never been under so much pressure, “with a person hollering at me and threatening me.” He said he made up a story about how he and three other youths attacked and killed the girl so that investigators would let him go home.

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