N.C. panel clears man convicted of killing

RALEIGH, N.C., Sept. 5 (UPI) -- Evidence suggests an innocent man has spent 16 years in a North Carolina prison for killing a prostitute, a state panel says.

The North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission referred the case of Gregory Taylor to a state appeals panel for further action, the Raleigh News & Observer reported. The commission's eight members voted unanimously in Taylor's favor Friday.


"My brother's been wrongly convicted for more than 16 years," Eddy Taylor said. "That's over 6,000 days. I'm sure my brother knows the exact number."

Taylor has maintained since his arrest that he did not kill Jacquetta Thomas, that it was simply bad luck that his truck got caught in the mud near where her body was discovered. An appeal for DNA testing in 2003 was rejected without a hearing.

The commission, the government body in the United States set up to examine claims of innocence, was created in 2006. Taylor is the third inmate to have a formal hearing before the commission and the first to win a finding of wrongful conviction.

Another man, Craig Taylor Jr., who is in a North Carolina prison on an unrelated conviction, has confessed to killing Thomas, saying he was obsessed by her.


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