Written Confession Does Little to Alter Food Lion Trial
Posted October 10, 1996
RALEIGH — Attorneys for a man charged in connection with the so-called Food Lion murders had hoped that the contents of a mystery envelope would help clear their client in the 1993 double murder and robbery.
Robert McNeil's defense team opened the envelope in court Thursday, and were disappointed in its contents. Someone had dropped off an unsigned typed confession at the attorneys' offices in an envelope that also contained two bullets, allegedly from the same batch used in the murders.
Judge Donald Stephens read the confession with the jury out of the courtroom.
Prosecutors said the bullet should be tested, as the defense team huddled hoping for a decision favorable to their side.
Judge Stephens decided to put the matter on hold, saying he could see no reason to stop the current proceeding in order to pursue another issue. He called the timing of the letter's arrival 'very suspicious' and that he doubted the confession would turn out to be valid.