WRAL Investigates

Discredited SBI analyst fighting for job

Posted May 17, 2011

Duane Deaver speaks publicly for the first time since he was fired by the State Bureau of Investigation during a March 4, 2011, interview with WRAL Investigates. An independent review of the way the SBI has handled blood evidence discredited some of Deaver's work and led to his termination.
Map Marker  Find News Near Me

— A blood-stain analyst who was fired from the state crime lab amid questions about the state crime lab’s policies and procedures is seeking to win his job back.

Duane Deaver filed a petition Monday with the state Office of Administrative Hearings to contest his Jan. 7 dismissal by the State Bureau of Investigation. In the petition, he also contends that he was suspended without just cause last fall and that the SBI and the state Department of Justice "abused their discretion" in handling his case.

In his nearly 25-year career at the State Bureau of Investigation, Deaver went from being a rising star – he was the go-to guy for blood stain analysis – to being a lightning rod, the symbol of a system accused of withholding evidence.

An independent review of the crime lab concluded last summer that SBI analysts had frequently misstated or falsely reported blood evidence in about 200 criminal cases during a 16-year period ending in 2003.

Some of the most egregious violations found during were linked to Deaver. In two of the cases, for example, Deaver's final blood analysis reports said his tests "revealed the presence of blood" when his notes indicated negative results from follow-up tests.

Deaver maintained in an exclusive interview with WRAL Investigates in March that he only followed SBI protocol and had done nothing wrong.

"I think I was treated unfairly, and I'm going to prevail," he said.

In his termination letter, the SBI cited his conduct in some cases and that he was accused of misleading the state's Innocence Inquiry Commission. A judicial panel appointed by the commission determined last year that Greg Taylor was wrongly convicted of murder in 1993.

In his petition, Deaver argues that the SBI's internal investigation found no evidence of perjury, and a five-person SBI panel unanimously recommended that he be reinstated.

The state Attorney General's Office, which oversees the SBI and the crime lab, declined to comment on Deaver's appeal, calling it a personnel matter.


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • dollibug May 23, 2011

    ++++Deaver maintained in an exclusive interview with WRAL Investigates in March that he only followed SBI protocol and had done nothing wrong.

    OK....with the statement above...there must be a lot more to this "story" than the public knows...I happen to know from my own "personal experience" that things are not always as they seem....there are 2 sides to every story....and then there is the "whole truth"....but sometimes the "whole truth" is not shared....as in the BRAD COOPER TRIAL....

  • ebeamer7472 May 18, 2011

    Inter Alios. Please read the Crime Lab Report article mentioned last night before deciding what happened in this case. However, if you are going to convict him so harshly, please lump in the SBI supervisor who approved this, the ASCLAD officials who approved the Lab Accredidation, and the Attorney General at the time,but most of all include the prosecution and defense in the trial in 1990. They can all make license plates together at CP. Or you can realize that the truth is elusive in many of the news media reports. And, when you have read both sides, you will probably realize that Deaver is a scapegoat.

  • Inter Alios May 17, 2011

    Deaver knew exactly what he was doing by not including the negative tests in his reports. He knew the prosecution and the courts would rely on his test reports. He knew the defense would not know about the negative test results. He knew innocent people would be convicted and sentenced to very long terms in prison because of HIS REPORTS. His actions were despicable, and he deserves the very harshest treatment permitted by our criminal justice system. His next job should be making license plates at Central Prison.

  • astonished May 17, 2011

    There is a very simple distinction to be made concerning the results of the blood tests in question. The first test was positive, which means the substance may be blood. The second test was negative, which means that blood wasn't positively confirmed. It may be blood but in too small a quantity to be detected or the sample may be contaminated or it may not be blood. Each major media outlet continues to report it incorrectly, saying the negative test showed the substance was not blood, but if you watch Deaver's interview, he explains it very well.

    By the way, Greg Taylor never argued that the victim's blood could be on his truck. He actually agreed that it was blood. But misuse of Deaver's report (the prosecutor stating the substance was blood) gave Taylor the loophole he was searching for.

  • Jeff_W May 17, 2011

    Or ... you can go to http://www.crimelabreport.com

    There are several articles relevant to this topic that are worth reading.

  • Jeff_W May 17, 2011

    To get a glimpse of the more accurate truth of this 'scandal' some might find this reading interesting.....

    Do a Google search for Crime Lab Report, Clique Jornalism and read the article dated April 5, 2011. It is a PDF document that you will have to download, but it is worth the information.

  • Curlyq May 17, 2011

    All of these demeaning comments about Deaver have been made only knowing the tip of the iceburg. It is the reason I don't trust many people. They judge, judge, judge not knowing the whole story. Bets are most of you sit in church acting like good little christians. Just disgusting comments. May none of you fall victim to POLITICS.

  • jrfergerson May 17, 2011

    Keep on Duane - you are doing good man

  • nanasix May 17, 2011

    Since when is it a personal matter for the Atty Gen? He represents the citizens of N.C., and owes the citizens and this individual answers. He evidently had the required hearing before 5 SBI members and their decision was to reinstate him. Guess the Atty Gen. wants to treat this quite different than he's treating Elaine F. Marshall, SOS who has cost our state millions in lost revenue since taking office, and the Atty Gen's comment was: "It was his job to protect the SOS". Guess he has trouble understanding who he works for and what his actual job description actually is. Let's see where this goes. If this man went through the proper procedure, he should be reinstated with back pay. Good luck to him.

  • herps4us2 May 17, 2011

    Is this the same guy that was shown on the CNN special about the NCSBI lab that was aired a couple months ago? CNN showed a man on several occasions altering evidence within the NC crime lab facility. The video was recorded from an in house security camera mounted in the room. He was trying to fix a blood stained shirt to match the pictured evidence of another blood stained shirt in a crime scene photograph. He obtained his goal of making them look the same after his third try, then he can be heard on the recording saying, "That will work" then put it into an evidence bag. Evidently someone in the SBI really didnt like this guy as well, and its probably Roy Cooper. Who else would have the power to give this video to CNN without a big deal being made out of it, but Mr. Cooper? Mr Deaver may be the scapegoat, but he made himself a big target by altering evidence, especially with a video camera in the room. If its the same guy, he's destroyed several lives just to get his desired verdict.