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Peterson lawyer says judge should hear appeal

Posted November 28, 2011
Updated November 29, 2011

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— The attorney for convicted killer Mike Peterson is opposed to an effort by Durham County District Attorney Tracey Cline to remove a Superior Court judge from Peterson's hearing for a new trial.

Cline filed a motion last Wednesday requesting that Judge Orlando Hudson not be allowed to preside over a Dec. 5 hearing as to whether Peterson, a novelist and former Durham mayoral candidate, should be granted a new trial.

Peterson, 68, was convicted in 2003 of first-degree murder in the Dec. 9, 2001, death of his wife, Kathleen. She was found dead in a pool of blood at the bottom of a staircase in the couple's upscale Durham home.

Cline has blamed Hudson publicly for two cases in which murder charges were dismissed, accused Hudson of corruption and bias and has asked the state Judicial Standards Commission to bar him from hearing criminal cases in the county.

Peterson's attorney, David Rudolf, said in his response to Cline's motion that Hudson is uniquely qualified to hear the appeal, noting that he presided over the nearly three-month trial eight years ago.

The request for a new trial involves claims that a former State Bureau of Investigation agent who testified at Peterson's original trial lied or misled jurors about blood evidence found in Peterson's home.

Hudson's familiarity with the testimony puts him in the best position to weigh whether the agent's previous testimony is valid, Rudolf argues in his response.

He also notes that neither Cline nor anyone in her office was involved in Peterson's conviction and that the issues raised in the request for a new trial don't involve her or the Durham County District Attorney's Office.

"The court has at no time displayed any bias or prejudice towards the state in this matter, and there is no factual or legal basis for the court to disqualify itself in this matter," he states in his response.

Hudson has asked Superior Court Judge Carl Fox, who is holding court in Durham County through the end of December, to handle Cline's motion, as well as similar motions in two other cases.


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  • Bob3425 Nov 29, 2011

    saturn5 -- he is a convicted killer however with all the SBI mishandling of cases, he deserve a hearing if the evidence indicates it; who knows he might have ben convicted in error.

  • WooHoo2You Nov 28, 2011

    He is still trying?!?

  • boneymaroney13 Nov 28, 2011

    Let Hudson hear the appeal. It will show everyone what he is really made of.

  • JAT Nov 28, 2011

    If Cline had nothing to do with the case, why is she even worried about it? Unless she's afraid Hudson will throw out the charges and she doesn't want to be the one to retry the case.

  • solarflare40 Nov 28, 2011

    The man is a murderer. Just accept it and get on with life. He is exactly where he belongs - well, he actually belongs in H E double hockey sticks, but that day is coming soon enough. NO APPEAL!!!

  • Scubagirl Nov 28, 2011

    so now she's getting her name in the headlines for some other lame brain idea. Way to go ..... NOT!

  • Here2tellya Nov 28, 2011

    Ummm.....NO NEW TRIAL. Move on and get over it. This case has been done for years now.