WRAL.com archive: Mike Peterson case

Businesswoman Kathleen Peterson was found dead in a pool of blood at the bottom of a staircase in her upscale Durham home on Dec. 9, 2001. Her husband, Durham novelist and one-time mayoral candidate Mike Peterson, was convicted of first-degree murder in October 2003. After years of appeals, a judge ordered he receive a new trial because a key witness in the trial, a State Bureau of Investigation blood analyst, misled jurors about his expertise and the accuracy of his tests. On Feb. 24, 2017, while still proclaiming his innocence, he ended the long-running case with an Alford plea to a charge of voluntary manslaughter. He was sentenced to up to seven years in prison, but having already spent more than eight years behind bars, he was able to walk out of court a free man.