Local News

Nifong's Top Investigator Toppled

Posted June 25, 2007

— Interim Durham County District Attorney Jim Hardin said Monday that investigator who handled the Duke University lacrosse sexual assault case would no longer be employed by the office.

Linwood Wilson was the chief investigator for former District Attorney Mike Nifong. He appears to be the first casualty after Nifong was disbarred and suspended from his office in the last week.

Wilson was hired as a part-time employee in December 2005 in the worthless checks division of the District Attorney's Office, and he was promoted to chief investigator last October. He was responsible for handling the office's investigation into the Duke lacrosse case, including interviewing the accuser, Crystal Mangum, last December, nine months after the sexual assault allegations were made.

Shortly after Wilson interviewed Mangum, rape charges were dismissed against the three lacrosse players who had been indicted in the case.

Officials with the District Attorney's Office said Wilson would "no longer be employed by the Durham DA's office" after Monday. Officials declined to comment further, and it was unclear whether he was fired or was asked to resign.

Separately, a Superior Court judge set a Thursday morning hearing in a civil complaint seeking to remove Nifong from office.

Although Nifong was suspended as Durham County district attorney last week, he remains on the job until his July 13 resignation takes effect.

Judge Orlando Hudson suspended Nifong with pay, saying his presence in the district attorney's office raised credibility questions in all prosecutions. Gov. Mike Easley appointed Hardin, Durham's former district attorney, as an interim replacement until someone could be named to fill the rest of Nifong's term.

At the Thursday hearing, Hudson will address issues raised by Durham resident Beth Brewer. She filed a civil complaint in February demanding that Nifong be removed from office.

Raleigh attorney Robert Zaytoun, who Hudson appointed as a special prosecutor in the case, will present evidence in an effort to prove that Nifong displayed willful misconduct in his handling of the Duke lacrosse case.

The North Carolina State Bar's Disciplinary Hearing Commission stripped Nifong of his ability to practice law on June 16. The three-member panel found that he had violated 27 of 32 ethics charges in the Duke case, including lying to the Bar and the court regarding the lack of DNA evidence against the three lacrosse players charged with attacking a stripper at a March 2006 team party.

Under State Bar rules, the disbarment isn't effective for 30 days.


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  • Adelinthe Jun 26, 2007

    I applaud Hardin. Nifong didn't act entirely alone, and those who either helped him by adjusting or withholding evidence without sending up flares to the authorities should go the way he did, and quickly.

    God only knows who this investigator may have been investigating next, had he remained. It may well be one of OUR loved ones. Would we want that???

    Corruption like this MUST be purged posthaste.

    God bless.

    Rev. RB

  • Adelinthe Jun 26, 2007

    NewsHound8 - AMEN!!!

    God bless.

    Rev. RB

  • CareAboutTheIssues Jun 26, 2007

    "Judge Orlando Hudson suspended Nifong with pay...." What the hell!!!!! Why are we continuing to pay this buttwipe?

  • CauseTaker Jun 26, 2007

    Nancy (regarding Linwood Wilson): "Now, who/what/when/where/how did that happen? I would like to know who sent him packing? Hardin said he would not be making personnel decisions. Who made this decision?"

    Gov. Easley gave Interim DA Hardin full authority to "assess the staff" and restore confidence and integrity in the Durham DA office, including any personnel decisions, with his temporary appointment.

    Here is Jim Hardin's News Conference video where he discusses the scope of his responsibilities. Interestingly, a reporter did ask specifically about Mr. Wilson. Reflecting the impressive level of Mr. Hardin's integrity and professionalism he declined to discuss specific employees.


  • Nancy Jun 26, 2007

    "I honest to GOD wish I could tell you all abbout Linwood and his secret life, but I'm sworn to secrecy. His is SCUM amd everyone- now including Nifong, knows he's a crook. Anyone know if he still hangs out as his favorite lil "Excitementing" store on Guess road in Durham?"

    Well, he has a long colorful history in his work as well. He is no longer a Private Investigator because the regulatory agency that oversees their licensing gave him a very bad mark, he dropped his PI practice. He's not honest, not even close. Yet it's funny because he's a gospel singer, the cover of legitimacy huh? Scam artist.

  • Nancy Jun 26, 2007

    "Nancy......... I don't thnk we will ever see Crystal Mangum having to answer anything else ... Do you? You seem to be more on top of this than anyone..........."

    The only charge from the city/county/state could be a misdemeanor for filing a false police report, $500 fine. Hardly noteworthy considering her felony record.

    Now, if the families choose to hold her accountable, they would simply do it to force her to the stand and make sure the judge stipulates that she cannot profit in any manner from this hoax, much like what was done to OJ. Criminally? The only shot is if the feds go after her for using fed monies to be put in a safe house based on lies. She was given victim funding and housing which is federally funded through local entities. Chance of that? Depends on how loud and long people scream at the feds to do something.

  • love32acupIBTC Jun 25, 2007

    I honest to GOD wish I could tell you all abbout Linwood and his secret life, but I'm sworn to secrecy. His is SCUM amd everyone- now including Nifong, knows he's a crook. Anyone know if he still hangs out as his favorite lil "Excitementing" store on Guess road in Durham?

  • shine Jun 25, 2007

    sick of thugs...... Watch for Nancy's post I think she knows certainly more than myself - but it is unfortunate.. I am afraid they will put this one to bed as soon as possible.

  • shine Jun 25, 2007

    Nancy......... I don't thnk we will ever see Crystal Mangum having to answer anything else ... Do you? You seem to be more on top of this than anyone...........

  • Nancy Jun 25, 2007

    I have just reached page 300 of Nifong's deposition before the bar hearing took place. All I can say is that if I were to count all the "I don't recall", "I don't remember", "I'm not sure", "No, I never read the reports", "I never saw that"......well, you get the picture. The man refused (or so he states in so many ways, true or not) to look at the exculpatory evidence, and he based his decisions on Crytal Mangums various versions of what happened and the Non Testimonial order which contained no information.

    He disregarded both rounds of DNA showing no physical evidence, alibi's and everything else. He even ignored Officer Shelton who was the first officer on the scene who wrote in her notes that no rape had occurred, and that Crystal had stated it had, then it hadn't then it had again, from 20 men raping her to 5 men raping her. Nifong didn't believe the responding officer's notes.

    Yet he never bothered to talk to her, never tried to get her to explain her conflicting accounts