State News

SBI agent terminated from job

Posted January 10, 2011
Updated January 11, 2011

— The State Bureau of Investigation agent at the center of questions about the state crime lab’s policies and procedures, has been fired, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Justice said Monday.

Duane Deaver’s testimony last year in a landmark case that ended in the exoneration of Gregory Taylor led to an independent review that concluded 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, Deaver's final report on blood analyses said his tests "revealed the presence of blood" when his notes indicated negative results from follow-up tests.

Deaver was placed on administrative leave following the review while the SBI conducted an internal investigation into his actions. In October, Deaver returned to work in an administrative capacity.

Noelle Talley, a spokeswoman for the North Carolina Department of Justice, which oversees the SBI, said Deaver was terminated on Friday. She did not say why.

Deaver plans to appeal the decision, his attorney, Philip Isley, told The Associated Press Monday afternoon.

"We believe this is just a political witch hunt against him, and he has suffered as a result of that," Isley said.

Isley said it appears Deaver was fired for three things – none of which he believes are grounds for termination.

He said Deaver was terminated, in part, because the North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission has accused him of intentionally misleading the panel during testimony in Taylor’s case in September 2009.

But Isley has said it appears the accusation came because Deaver simply gave a confusing answer to a confusion question.

Isley said it appears Deaver was also fired for being unprofessional because, after completing a blood spatter analysis in 2009, Deaver said, "That's a wrap, baby."

He said the third thing cited in Deaver's firing was a violation of a policy while Deaver was recently on leave.

The Innocence Commission has asked for a court hearing to determine if Deaver should be held in criminal contempt for misleading the panel during the preliminary hearing in September 2009.

In his testimony, the Innocence Commission claims, Deaver denied the existence of a second test on a blood sample in Taylor’s case when, in fact, there was a second test that was negative for human blood.

That undisclosed information became a crucial factor for attorneys pushing for Taylor’s freedom.


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  • gdballard Jan 13, 2011

    Duane Deavers' ia not the scapegoat here! Deavers' termination is only a small part of what he deserves! Deavers should be indicted for tampering with and altering evidenceto affect the outcome of an investigation, and for lieing. I was involved with Deavers in another case which ended up being two seperate trials. He lied, and had no hesitation doing it. Regardless of the truth, Deavers would and did say anything that he thought the state needed him to say on the stand. At least he did in the two trials I was involved with!!!!! But it should not stop at Deavers, we should now go after the DA's that new this was going on, and still insisted in using Deavers in their cases over the past few years. Deavers, the DA's and even a few judges should be held accoutable. This issue goes much deeper than the public realizes! I appreciate the Attorney General or whom ever it was that fired Deavers, I just hope they now have him arrested and prosecuted.

  • dweezel Jan 13, 2011

    Greg Taylor was declared innocent, was released, is now a free man and that is the END of that. I watched all of Mr. Deaver's testimony before the Innocence Commission. It seemed to me that he was just following procedures that were established by someone "above his grade level" as he stated it himself. I have no problem with his firing but how about those above him who made unsound decisions about how evidence testing is to be reported to prosecutors - that shows a very reckless concern for the lives of people. Sounds like more heads should roll at the SBI and not just this gentleman who just might be a scapegoat.

  • tequila409 Jan 12, 2011


    In your infinite knowledge of this person or his work, show us one instance where he lied or withheld evidence.

    Stop spewing garbage. Do some reading other than media outlets. You’re one of the many lemmings that have followed the N&O over the cliff.

  • theinstallman Jan 12, 2011

    he witheld evidence, he lied more than once for no other reason than to falsely convict a person and he did so under oath. If he is your friend or enemy it does not change this. He should be punished for this and all who aided him in this crime.

  • didisaythat Jan 11, 2011


    In the case you sat on the jury...did the person kill the victim? I am sure there was more evidence than the blood. So with your own ability to make a decision did you make it based on the whole evidence or just he blood? That is my point with the Taylor case. I was not there and have not seen all of the evidence. I find it very difficult to see how a person is found guilty on just blood evidence, hat was not even entered into evidence. There was other evidence that should a jury just like yours that Taylor killed the girl. People tend to forget that. Deman even said the blood was used to show he was there. Ok, Taylor already said he was there. So there was other evidence that showed he killed her. Just like in your case.

  • RM24 Jan 11, 2011

    When you have a case that was initially made on a blood stain and then that blood stain:

    I think this case was formed because he was found at the scene of the crime right?

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Jan 11, 2011

    I served on a 1st degree murder jury in Wake County four or five years ago.

    I remember the SBI agent going into great detail to show how the evidence including blood stains figured into showing that the defendant was guilty of the crime.

    The testimony from the SBI agent was what got the Prosecutor the 1st degree murder conviction instead of 2nd degree murder or manslaughter.

    After reading all of the information about Deaver and others at the SBI lab creating, modifying, and manipulating evidence, I'm seriously wondering whether or not we voted correctly on the 1st degree murder charge.

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Jan 11, 2011

    "Also keep in mind just because one peace of evidence is not shown or wrong does not mean all the other evidence is no longer valid. However it could or could not change the outcome. - RM24"

    When you have a case that was initially made on a blood stain and then that blood stain was found to not be blood, it casts a big shadow over the case and the rest of the evidence.

    Evidence in court only works when the evidence has credibility in the court of public opinion.

    After Deaver and others at the SBI who have been found to be creating, modifying, and manipulating evidence, all evidence submitted by the Prosecutor is questionable at best in the court of public opinion.

    Any evidence results from the SBI are now questionable at best.

    Great time to be a defense attorney.

  • RM24 Jan 11, 2011

    Also keep in mind just because one peace of evidence is not shown or wrong does not mean all the other evidence is no longer valid. However it could or could not change the outcome.

  • RM24 Jan 11, 2011

    DontLikeTheSocialistObama: You could be correct. However from the WRAL articles I personally can not form any conclusion as to who is right and who is wrong. That is what I am saying. People jump to conclusions very fast.