Local News

Durham DA's Mom Shares Insight Into Son's Drive, Family Loss

Posted July 24, 2003

— One of the most frequent courtroom spectators at the Mike Peterson trial is the mother of Durham district attorney Jim Hardin.

Carolyn Hardin is often in the courtroom, supporting her son, who is prosecuting Mike Peterson.

"Jimmy would not be prosecuting this case if he didn't believe, absolutely, that Mr. Peterson is guilty" she said. "The writer of fiction was able to figure out the perfect solution."

Hardin said she is a mother who "is extremely proud" of her son.

"He's very definite," she said. "Like they say, 'There's an iron fist in the velvet glove.'"

There has been tragedy in the Hardin family. When Jim was 13, his parents' house in Durham caught fire.

"Jimmy tied sheets together and tied them to his bedpost and came down the window on sheets. My husband and I were sleeping downstairs," she said.

Hardin and her husband also jumped out a window. Jim's younger brother and two sisters did not get out of the house and died in the fire.

"I think he has a survival complex. He tries to make up for the other children, I think, that did not survive," she said.

Hardin said she feels for another woman who has lost a child -- Veronica Hunt, the mother of Kathleen Peterson.

"I don't care if the child is an infant or if the child is grown. [There's] just something about mothers, that we feel for each other when something happens," Hardin said.

Carolyn Hardin said she plans to be in the courtroom every chance she gets.


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