Appeals court clears Durham DA of wrongdoing in murder case
Posted December 20, 2011
Raleigh, N.C. — The North Carolina Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday in an unpublished decision that Durham County District Attorney Tracey Cline didn't violate a defendant's rights in a murder trial last year.
Angel Luis Richardson was convicted of first-degree murder in the Dec. 4, 2006, death of Marlon Rand, 23, who was shot several times as he sat in his car outside his North Street home.
Prosecutors said the shooting was payback after Rand robbed Donald "Face" Shealey, a leader of a local gang. Shealey hired someone to kill Rand, and Richardson was enlisted to carry out the crime in exchange for having his drug debt erased.
Richardson argued that Cline withheld a statement from a Colorado inmate that implicated another man in the crime, but the three-judge Court of Appeals panel ruled that defense attorneys had enough time during the trial to use the statement.
Richardson was one of three defendants who recently alleged that Cline was using improper motions to obtain confidential information about their cases. Cline last week said she filed the motions by mistake, and a judge warned her to be more careful in the future.