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D.A. asks for files from Innocence Commission

Posted September 17, 2009

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— The Wake County District Attorney has asked that the North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission hand over its file on Gregory Taylor, the Cary man whom the commission recently referred for a new trial.

D.A. Colon Willoughby filed the motion for disclosure Thursday in state Superior Court asking for statements, investigative notes, tests, photos and videos the commission may have relative to Taylor’s case.

Taylor was convicted in 1993 of the stabbing and beating death of 26-year-old Jacquetta Thomas. He has served 16 years in prison for the crime.

On Sept. 4, after two days of hearing new evidence, the Innocence Commission unanimously decided to send Taylor’s claim to a three-judge panel who will oversee a new trial.

The commission heard a recorded statement in which Craig H. Taylor, 40, told an investigator that he hit Thomas in the face and beat her to death with a bat. He said he tried to make look like she was raped but did not rape her.

The two men share a last name, but are not related.

As the chief prosecutor in the county where the original crime was committed, Willoughby would argue the case against Taylor before the three-judge panel.

Willoughby has said he is a “little skeptical” about Craig Taylor’s claims. He said the inmate has also confessed to other murders that were not substantiated.

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  • krispixVT Sep 18, 2009

    They only take cases where they can try to prove factual innocence... not mistakes in the legal process, or lesser crimes while still involved.

    Also, the fact that this is only the third case, and the first two convictions were upheld should show that they are not just out to let everyone out of prison.

    It is a great program, and I hope justice finally prevails in this case! Free Greg Taylor!

  • itsmyownopinion Sep 17, 2009

    Generally, I believe the Innocence Commission takes cases where DNA evidence was not used to convict, or evidence was withheld.

  • DrJ Sep 17, 2009

    I'm all for overturning wrongful convictions. Who would be otherwise? But when I hear "innocence commission," I have to wonder if we, the people, are getting an unbiased opinion on these cases.