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Investigators: DNA Match for Crime That Put Innocent Man in Prison

Posted November 6, 2007

— Investigators said they have solved a rape that put the wrong man in prison for 18 years. They have not, however, charged the person they now say did it.

Dwayne Allen Dail, 39, was cleared in August of the 1987 rape of a 12-year-old Goldsboro girl. The girl identified him as her attacker, and hair found at the scene was similar to his. DNA evidence found on a fragment of the girl's nightgown years after the trial proved Dail wasn't involved in the attack, however.

Investigators said Tuesday they have a DNA match that linked another man to the crime, but he has yet to be charged. The wait concerned Dail and his attorney.

“They've gotten a complete profile from the nightgown and they have matched that to someone who is in prison in North Carolina,” said Chris Mumma, the attorney who helped establish Dail’s innocence.

Mumma said investigators even took a new DNA sample from the inmate and confirmed a match.

“When there is an exact DNA match, that is sufficient in many cases to move forward with charges," Mumma said.

Dail's was in Florida Tuesday when WRAL spoke with him by telephone.

"I understand that maybe it takes a little bit of time, but I cannot understand where they got a 100 percent match on DNA and it's still taking this much time," Dail said. “I think there should be some charge."

Wayne County District Attorney Branny Vickory said he was confident the person will eventually be charged.

Vickory said part of the problem was that DNA evidence sat on a shelf for so long that investigators and witnesses have to be re-interviewed to properly account for the evidence.

The North Carolina Center on Actual Innocence helped find the DNA evidence that exonerated  Dail and led to his release

“I certainly wish that they had taken that much time with the investigation during my trial," Dail said.

"He is in custody, so I'm sure that takes the urgency off of it from a law enforcement perspective, but it doesn't take the urgency off of it from Dwayne Dail's perspective or the victim's perspective," Mumma said.

Dail and his attorney said they would understand if it took more time to go to trial, but they said they believe new charges in the case are long overdue.

Dail's attorney also said the DNA match points to a current inmate who once lived in the same neighborhood as Dail.


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  • happyncgurl Nov 7, 2007

    hey has anybody heard any more about his ex trying to sue him for child support.. I wonder what's going on with that.

  • NCTeacher Nov 7, 2007

    You can't hold the girl responsible for this. She went through something that is incredibly traumatic for a grown woman- imagine being 12 and living through it. She may have responded to investigators pressure or she may have just answered to the best of her ability at the time.

    Regardless, I am glad he is free and hope to see the real criminal pay up for the crime.

  • iamforjustice Nov 7, 2007

    Tmedlin...what chick in Durham?

  • sjmr1216 Nov 7, 2007

    iamforjustice...how in the world could you say that? she was RAPED at 12 years of age. not only will she suffer from that incident for the rest of her life, she will also suffer the fact that she placed an innocent man in prison. leave her be...i think she's suffered enough...

  • tmedlin Nov 7, 2007

    I haven't seen it anywhere, either - maybe he was confusing her with the chick in Durham....

  • Steve Crisp Nov 7, 2007

    To patriotsrevenge:

    I still adhere to rapid enaction of the death penalty in the wake of a conviction. But as I have stated many times in the past, I also advocate a different standard for conviction in death penalty cases, that being beyond a shadow of a doubt. If someone is convicted of a capital crime based on direct evidence like DNA combined with clear video, confession, and testimony of folks who knew the criminal personally, I have no issue with frying someone within weeks. That also holds true for those who are caught in the commission of a capital crime such as bank robbers who kill hostages then are captured while they are still in the bank.

    All others who are convicted of what would be a capital crime, but with the evidenciary standard of beyond a reasonable doubt should be imprisoned for life without the possibility of parole.

  • amypsychrn Nov 7, 2007

    Don't take it out on the girl. I believe that the police convinced her that it was Dail. He didn't even look like the man she described to her attackers. She was 12 years old. How do you know that she KNEW who her attacker was? I haven't seen that in the news anywhere.

  • Sessy - Italiana Nov 7, 2007

    least the looser is already locked up........ hate that guy had to pull all that time when he was innocent

  • iamforjustice Nov 7, 2007

    Where is that 12 year old girl now? She needs to publically apologize for her wrongdoing. She knew who the culprit was the whole time. She needs to spend some days in jail or have her but whipped.

  • dhoggard2 Nov 7, 2007

    I'm glad the guy finally got out. He does sort of look like one of the cast of Caveman though, doesn't he??