Local News

Duke Lacrosse Hearings Stayed Until May 7

Posted January 30, 2007

— Court hearings for the Duke lacrosse case were stayed until May after defense attorneys met Tuesday with the judge and the new prosecutors assigned to the case.

Superior Court Judge W. Osmond Smith postponed a critical hearing, scheduled for Feb. 5, until May 7. During that hearing, the accuser was expected to testify, and defense attorneys were planning to ask Smith to throw out her photo identification of the defendants.

The meeting, which lasted two hours, was the first time the two sides have met to discuss the case.

After the meeting, defense attorneys Joe Cheshire and Wade Smith said the discussion went well and that they look forward to working with the new prosecutors.

"We are very excited to have professional prosecutors who are willing to sit down and engage us in conversation, who are willing to fairly look at the case," Cheshire said. "That's all we have asked for since the very beginning, so we are excited that we are engaged in the professional process."

North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper appointed Mary Winstead and James Coman to the case after Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong asked for a special prosecutor in the case.

Nifong's decision to recuse himself came more than two weeks after the North Carolina State Bar filed an ethics complaint citing dozens of pretrial comments the district attorney made to the media early in the case.

Earlier this month, the State Bar amended its complaint, accusing Nifong of withholding exculpatory evidence and misrepresenting the truth to the judge in the case.

Prosecutors declined to comment on the case Tuesday, but Attorney General Roy Cooper said in a written statement that they would use the time until May to continue reviewing the case.

Reade Seligmann, 20, Collin Finnerty, 20, and David Evans, 23, face first-degree sexual assault and kidnapping charges stemming from an exotic dancer's allegations that she was assaulted by them at an off-campus party in March.

Last month, Nifong dropped rape charges against the three men after the accuser wavered in her account of key details in the case. All three men have strongly proclaimed their innocence.

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  • mcgriffi Jan 31, 2007

    Please drop these ridiculous charges and let these young men try to get on with their lives. Nifong needs to have a hard time getting a job selling used cars!

  • Nancy Jan 31, 2007

    The civil lawsuits awaiting the dismissal of all charges are just going to be more expensive for Durham to pay out. Each delay is going to get added to the bill. Durham PD and Nifong have just cost all the Durham taxpayers a few million in damages. Not to mention Meehan of the DNA lab. And if the AG's office screws up, they too can be called to testify. The dirty list of corruption and those who committed it will be a parade on the stand for all to witness when the charges are dismissed. We will all get to see the liars and hear the lies they told to create this horrendous mess. I look forward to that.

  • ultimate250exrider Jan 31, 2007

    Im so sick of hearing about this. We all know that the boys didnt do it. SO DROP IT. geeze

  • Lightfoot Jan 31, 2007

    The players were NOT wrong in hiring a stripper. It's legal and Zeus and Poseidon are okay with it!

  • Lightfoot Jan 31, 2007

    Regarding a comment from another reader, how were these players WRONG in hiring a stripper? I'm pretty sure there's nothing illegal with that, and so far as I know, Zeus and Poseidon haven't said it's immoral.

  • Fence Straddler Jan 31, 2007


    The case should be dropped for insufficient evidence (case closed)!

  • georgewilson11 Jan 31, 2007

    Thank you mrs .

  • georgewilson11 Jan 31, 2007

    Thank you brs , I think you have the true take on this issue .

  • georgewilson11 Jan 31, 2007

    Thank you mrs , you put it as well as could be put !

  • NC to GA Jan 30, 2007

    What a pointless comment.