How Demario Atwater Was Overlooked
Posted March 14, 2008
January 2005: According to court documents, Demario James Atwater is arrested on charges of felony breaking and felony entering and larceny.
February 2005: District Judge Robert Rader sentences Atwater to three years' probation, including nine months of "intensive" probation. Court documents show it listed as "regular" probation.
Even though he lived in Durham County, the probation was still under the jurisdiction of Wake County. That was against the Department of Correction's Division of Community Corrections' policy, division director Robert L. Guy said.
June 2007: Atwater is charged in Granville County with possession of a firearm by a felon. He pleads guilty June 28 and is put on "intensive probation."
His conviction means he violated his probation from February 2005. Granville County authorities notified the probation office in Wake County about the offense.
Nov. 16, 2007: Paperwork is filed in Wake County indicating Atwater is a probation violator because of his conviction in Granville County. (On Nov. 6, Atwater had been arrested n Durham on three charges, including possession of a firearm. The case was pending.) A warrant for his arrest indicates an unknown address.
Feb. 20, 2008: Atwater's Wake County probation officer makes contact with him and arrests him. Atwater is released from jail under a $10,000 secured bond and is scheduled to appear in Wake County court March 3 at 9:30 a.m.
March 3, 2008: Atwater, along with his probation officer, arrive at District Court Courtroom 2-D, where his case is scheduled. His court file, however, has been sent to Superior Court Courtroom 3-B.
The clerk of court checks his case status in the statewide computer, which does not show the violation for the 2005 conviction in Wake County. It says the case has been disposed.