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Overturned murder conviction in DWI case goes before Supreme Court

Posted September 8, 2008
Updated July 7, 2010

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— The state Supreme Court heard arguments Monday in the case of a man whose murder conviction in a 2005 drunken-driving wreck was overturned on appeal.

Kenneth Wayne Maready was convicted of second-degree murder two years ago in the Feb. 13, 2005, death of Kay Stokes. He was sentenced to at least 50 years in prison, including 20 years on other charges in the case.

Police said Maready's blood-alcohol level was more than three times the legal limit when he stole a car, fled from deputies who had pulled him over and crashed into a pickup. Stokes, 61, died in the wreck, and her 5-year-old granddaughter was hurt.

At the time of the wreck, Maready had a revoked driver's license and six drunken-driving convictions on his record.

The state Court of Appeals overturned the conviction in January, ruling that some of Maready's convictions were too old to have been considered as evidence in the trial.

In addition to arguing that point to Supreme Court justices Monday, his attorneys also contended that the initial traffic stop was unconstitutional. A woman flagged down Durham County deputies to complain about someone driving erratically, but the deputies never independently verified the erratic driving before pulling Maready over, the attorneys said.

12 Comments

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  • BlueSkys Sep 16, 2008

    I wish I had my mom back

  • doubletrouble Sep 9, 2008

    Honestly...I don't see how some defense lawyers sleep at night.

  • whatusay Sep 9, 2008

    So if I rob a bank and a law enforcement officer does not see me I can not go to jail. Witnesses don't matter?

  • OakRapp Sep 8, 2008

    If his lawyers get him out of jail they should be required to hire him as their chauffeur.

  • leo-nc Sep 8, 2008

    In terms of the driving, the attorney's argument is ridiculous. You don't need probable cause for a stop. You need reasonable suspicion. Once the stop was initiated, it was on from there. He fled. Once he did and got over a certain speed, it became a felony. He was NOT in custody until the vehicle crashed. Nice try defense attorney. I would uphold the original conviction.

  • leo-nc Sep 8, 2008

    This is disgusting to me. Welcome to our justice system, people.

  • freedomdiddy Sep 8, 2008

    Many people on here scream that we must all obey the law. I agree with that 100%. The "technicalities" you complain about are also the law. We don't get to pick and choose which laws we follow. We must follow them all, including the ones we don't like. The courts must also follow the laws. All of them.

  • lumberman Sep 8, 2008

    As usual the victim in this case can not speak. This man has no respect for anyone or anybody. There is no way to keep someone like this off the road. With 6 convictions already under his belt that shows right there that he has no regards for the laws of this state. The death penalty would be to good for this guy.

  • sec Sep 8, 2008

    Unbelievable!! This man killed someone and has no remorse- he believes he should get off on a technicality. Personally, I hope the Supreme Court doubles his sentence!!!

  • FragmentFour Sep 8, 2008

    I'm most definitely a liberal, dare107 - and the only thing you're going to hear from me is a demand for his blood. The defense is scrambling at straws - and may have a few legal points on their side. But he should STAY convicted. Whether or not his prior DWIs were still valid changes nothing when it comes to the guilt of innocence on this charge.

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