Local News

Court: Man acquitted in wife's death can sue discredited ex-SBI agent

Posted December 21, 2016

Duane Deaver listens to testimony on April 2, 2014, during an administrative hearing to determine whether he can reclaim his job at the state crime lab. The State Bureau of Investigation fired him in January 2011 for violations of agency policy.

— The state Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that a lawsuit can proceed against an embattled former State Bureau of Investigation agent.

Kirk Turner was accused of killing his estranged wife in 2007 at their Mocksville home, but a jury determined he stabbed her in self-defense during an argument and acquitted him of the crime.

Turner then sued SBI agents Duane Deaver and Gerald Thomas, alleging that they came up with a theory as to how Turner’s wife was killed and concocted blood tests to suuport that theory.

The Superior Court judge first dismissed Turner's claims, but the state Court of Appeals later reinstated them. The Supreme Court ruling allows him to pursue a claim of intentional infliction of emotional distress but not malicious prosecution.

Deaver was fired by the SBI in 2011 after questions were raised about his work. He was also accused of misleading jurors in Mike Peterson's 2003 murder trial, leading a judge to order a new trial for Peterson.


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