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Cary convict's hearing set to begin in February

Posted November 24, 2009

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— A three-judge panel will hear evidence in February that could free a Cary man from prison, Superior Court Judge Donald Stephens ordered Tuesday.

The North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission decided in September that Gregory Taylor, who was convicted of killing a prostitute and has served 16 years in prison, should get a new hearing in the case.

That hearing is scheduled to be held at Campbell Law School, 225 Hillsborough St. in Raleigh, beginning at 10 a.m. Feb. 9, Stephens said.

Taylor is serving time for the 1991 stabbing and beating death of 26-year-old Jacquetta Thomas, who worked as a prostitute. He has maintained his innocence throughout.

The state innocence commission unanimously decided to refer his case to a new trial after hearing testimony that included statements from another inmate, Craig H. Taylor, who confessed to killing Thomas.

Craig Taylor, who is serving time as a habitual felon and drug dealer, told an investigator that he hit Thomas in the face and beat her to death with a bat. The two men share a last name but are not related.

Wake County District Attorney Colon Willoughby, who will prosecute the case, has said he is "skeptical" about the claim and noted in a court filing that Craig Taylor has confessed to more than 70 homicides that have been "neither reliable nor credible as demonstrated by the facts."

Since the commission’s decision, Willoughby’s office has been reviewing evidence in the case and the full transcript of the Innocence Commission hearing.

Greg Taylor's family and supporters, meanwhile, have called for his immediate release.

The panel will include Judge Howard Manning, a Superior Court judge based in Wake County, as well as Tonya Wallace, a  Superior Court judge in Rockingham County, and Calvin Murphy, a judge in Mecklenburg County.

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  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Nov 24, 2009

    FragmentFour: "I've heard a few too many District Attorneys put out statements they knew to be patently false. The word of any convicted felon carries more weight with me than somebody in that job."

    Wow! No need in wearing out my keyboard arguing that statement.

  • familyfour Nov 24, 2009

    And justice still goes unserved for the victims.

  • R_U_breakdance fighting Nov 24, 2009

    "Sorry, Tarheel - I've heard a few too many District Attorneys put out statements they knew to be patently false."

    -I agree, Duke LaCross case anyone??

  • FragmentFour Nov 24, 2009

    Sorry, Tarheel - I've heard a few too many District Attorneys put out statements they knew to be patently false. The word of any convicted felon carries more weight with me than somebody in that job.

  • 19tarheel75 Nov 24, 2009

    Wait a minute. Just because he said he didn't do it and Judge Stephens granted him a hearing does not mean he's not guilty OR that there has been a miscarraige of justice. Did we all not read the same article. The DA stated this Craig character has confessed to MORE THAN 70 HOMICIDES and not one of his confessions has been found to be legitimate. So let's keep the prison doors closed until ALL the evidence is in......

  • krispixVT Nov 24, 2009

    What a wonderful day it will be when justice prevails and he is allowed to come home!

  • itsmyownopinion Nov 24, 2009

    I'm glad he's getting a new trial. I hope it's fair this time.

  • nandud Nov 24, 2009

    This poor guy. I can't believe he's still sitting in jail.

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Nov 24, 2009

    I'm guessing he won't be found guilty the second time due to lack of very solid evidence. I'm also guessing he probably DID commit the crime.