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Archive for December, 2011

Female New Hanover student shot in leg

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

WILMINGTON, NC (NEWS RELEASE FROM THE WILMINGTON POLICE DEPARTMENT) — This is to confirm that the Wilmington Police Department is investigating an incident in which a young woman sustained a gunshot wound to the leg. The call was dispatched at 12:30 p.m. The victim was transported to New Hanover Regional Medical Center for treatment.

Initial reports indicate that the victim was shot on 12th Street between Chestnut and Princess Streets. WPD officers have canvassed a wide area and have not yet found witnesses to a shooting. The case remains under investigation.

Additional information will be released as details can be confirmed. Anyone with information about this case is asked to call the Wilmington Police Department at 910-343-3600. Information may be submitted anonymously through Text-a-Tip. Enter Tip708 and the information; send to CRIMES (274637).

WILMINGTON, NC (NEWS RELEASE FROM NEW HANOVER COUNTY SCHOOLS) — NHHS Student Sustains Gunshot Wound While Walking Away from Campus

At approximately 1:10 p.m. today, New Hanover High School went under a lockdown for less than five minutes. After the lockdown, Principal Todd Finn was notified by the Wilmington Police Department that a NHHS student had sustained a gunshot wound to the leg while walking in the vicinity of 12th and Chestnut Streets sometime between 12:30 p.m. and 1:15 p.m. The student is a female and a senior at NHHS.

The shooting did not occur on the NHHS campus, nor does it appear to be related to anything at NHHS. The victim was transported to New Hanover Regional Medical Center where she is currently being treated. WPD continues to investigate the situation. Additional information will be released as details can be confirmed.

Principal Finn has sent out an AlertNow message notifying NHHS parents of this incident.

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NC study: More data needed to examine motor fleet

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — North Carolina’s government watchdog agency says it’s impossible to evaluate whether state government’s motor vehicle fleet is used efficiently because there’s no standard way to keep track of its use.

The Program Evaluation Division released its findings Wednesday to a legislative oversight committee. The report says North Carolina lacks a centralized clearing house to count how many passenger vehicles the state owns and their costs. Investigators say the roughly 29,000 vehicles reported by individual agencies underestimates the size of the fleet.

The report recommends agencies clean up their vehicle lists and lawmakers direct the creation of an electronic motor fleet management system.

The chief operating officer of the department that manages the state’s motor fleet said she had just seen the report and couldn’t provide an immediate response.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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Gov. Perdue upholds Racial Justice Act

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

RALEIGH, NC (NEWS RELEASE) — Gov. Perdue today issued the following statement on the Racial Justice Act:

“I am – and always will be – a strong supporter of the death penalty. I firmly believe that some crimes are so heinous that no other punishment is adequate. As long as I am Governor, I am committed to ensuring that the death penalty remains a viable punishment option in North Carolina in appropriate cases.”

“However, because the death penalty is the ultimate punishment, it is essential that it be carried out fairly and that the process not be infected with prejudice based on race. I signed the Racial Justice Act into law two years ago because it ensured that racial prejudice would not taint the application of the death penalty.”

“I am vetoing Senate Bill 9 for the same reason that I signed the Racial Justice Act two years ago: it is simply unacceptable for racial prejudice to play a role in the imposition of the death penalty in North Carolina.”

“Finally, it is important to be clear that the Racial Justice Act does not allow anyone to be released from prison or seek parole. Both my own legal counsel and legal experts from across the State have assured me that even if an inmate succeeds on a claim under the Racial Justice Act, his sole remedy is life in prison without the possibility of parole — and even that would only occur if a judge first finds that racial discrimination played a significant role in the application of the death penalty.

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Peterson will get new trial in wife’s 2001 death

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

Associated Press

DURHAM, NC (AP) — A judge has ruled that Durham novelist Michael Peterson will get a new trial in his wife’s 2001 death.

Judge Orlando Hudson ruled Wednesday that former State Bureau of Investigation agent Duane Deaver misled the court about the bloodstain evidence at the 2003 trial in which Peterson was convicted of murder in the death of Kathleen Peterson, who was found at the bottom of a bloody staircase.

The SBI fired Deaver in January after an independent audit found he misreported, mishandled or exaggerated forensic evidence in 34 criminal cases.

Over the last week, defense lawyer David Rudolf presented witnesses to cast doubt on Deaver’s credibility, including three of his former SBI colleagues. In his closing argument Wednesday, Rudolf said Deaver’s lies violated Peterson’s right to a fair trial.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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Gov. Perdue vetoes death-row racial bias bill

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

Associated Press

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue has vetoed a bill that would have essentially repealed a 2009 law designed to address alleged racial bias in death penalty cases.

Perdue announced her veto Wednesday of the measure that would eliminate key provisions of the Racial Justice Act.

Perdue also signed the 2009 bill into law. It says a judge must reduce a death sentence to life in prison without parole if he determines racial bias was a significant factor to impose the death sentence.

Prosecutors who pushed the repeal said the act would clog up the court system with new appeals, creating a permanent moratorium on capital punishment.

Perdue’s decision means she must call the Legislature back to Raleigh by Jan. 8 to consider an override.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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