DNA evidence won't help child killer's bid for new trial
Posted May 11, 2015
Goldsboro, N.C. — A Wayne County man sentenced 10 years ago to death for the murder of his 5-year-old neighbor continues to fight for a new trial, but DNA evidence won't help his cause.
Precious Whitfield was last seen in May 2002 riding her bike outside her grandmother's house. Her body and the bike were found two days later in a creek about 7 miles away.
Eric Glenn Lane, 43, was convicted in July 2005 of first-degree murder and kidnapping in the case, and jurors deliberated only 50 minutes before handing down a death sentence.
Lane represented himself at trial and presented little evidence in his defense.
Last month, his new attorney, Mike Unti, asked that evidence from the case be retested for DNA. On Monday, the results from a private lab in Utah were released in court, and State Bureau of Investigation agent Mark Boodee testified that all five reports pointed to Lane as the killer.
Superior Court Judge Arnold Jones II said the results were unfavorable to the defense. Under state law, if the evidence had been favorable to Lane, the judge would have had the option of setting aside the death sentence or granting Lane a new trial.
Unti asked to have all records and reports connected to the case handed over to him, arguing that some of the evidence in the trial might have been compromised. The seals on some evidence envelopes were broken, he noted.
Lane will return to court in July.