In 1998, Derrick Allen was charged with the sexual assault and death of his girlfriend's two-year-old daughter. Mr. Allen accepted a plea deal to avoid the potential death penalty. Notably, he did not admit guilt in the plea. Mr. Allen subsequently spent twelve years in prison following his conviction.
However, that is not the end of Mr. Allen's case. Judge Hudson of Durham County Superior Court recent issued a lengthy Order chastising Durham prosecutors and the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) crime lab. Judge Hudson noted the state withheld important evidence that could have exonerated Mr. Allen. Judge Hudson openly criticized Tracey Cline (current District Attorney / Assistant District Attorney at the time of the case) in particular for her failure to disclose potentially exonerating evidence.
Specifically, the district attorney misled the defense about blood evidence in the case. SBI agent Jennifer Elwell also prepared a misleading report, falsely indicating the presence of blood in the victim's underwear. Freda Black served as an Assistant District Attorney at the time of the case. She testified such evidence was crucial to the case. The attorneys in question deny any wrongdoing. However, their actions will be reviewed by the North Carolina Bar. As for the N.C. SBI, the agency has been in the news lately for various incidents that raise serious questions about its integrity.
This case, questions that continue to arise regarding District Attorney offices around North Carolina, and the ongoing questions regarding the N.C. SBI are all clear reasons why anyone with a criminal charge needs to obtain a qualified Charlotte criminal lawyer. There are a variety of legal issues that must be addressed with any criminal matter, whether it is a misdemeanor or a felony charge. However, a skilled criminal / traffic attorney will be aware of these additional issues that can have a substantial effect on your case. If you require assistant with a criminal case, please consult a Charlotte, North Carolina criminal attorney immediately for a free consultation.