Local News

Wetzel Asks For Clemency In 1957 Murders Of State Troopers

Posted December 23, 2002

— An 81-year-old prisoner serving two consecutive life sentences for the murders of two N.C. state troopers, has asked Governor Mike Easley for clemency.

Frank Wetzel claims he is innocent of the 1957 slayings of troopers W.L. Reece and James Brown. He has been eligible for parole since 1977, and his attorney says the parole commission has no intention of releasing Wetzel.

Wetzel has written to Easley, asking for a review of his case and for his release.

Records show that Reece was fatally shot near Ellerbe. Brown was shot on U.S. Highway 1 near Sanford. Wetzel says he was wrongly convicted of killing both.

One of Wetzel's main contentions points to the time of the killings - he claims there was not enough time between each killing for him to have committed both.

Reece was fatally shot at 8 p.m. Brown was shot 47 miles away between 15 and 20 minutes later.

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