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Slain woman's sister wants SBI investigation into unsolved case

Posted June 11, 2012
Updated September 6

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— Years after a woman was found beaten to death in a Raleigh cul-de-sac her murder remains unsolved.

Gregory Taylor was convicted in April 1993 in the Sept. 26, 1991, beating death of 26-year-old Jacquetta Thomas, but in February 2010, a special three-judge panel unanimously decided there was clear and convincing evidence that proved he did not commit the crime.

Shortly after Taylor was freed, Raleigh police reopened the murder case, but Thomas' sister, Yolanda Littlejohn, says she does not have confidence that the Raleigh Police Department and Wake County District Attorney's Office can bring justice in the case.

"Too many years have passed, and now, we hear nothing," Littlejohn, of Garner, said Monday. "I don't want my sister's case to be forgotten, because her murder hasn't been solved."

A spokesman for the Raleigh Police Department says the case is still open and that leads are still being sought in the case.

Yolanda Littlejohn Slain woman's sister calls for SBI probe in case

"(Initially,) they put two new detectives on it who put in lots of hours and thousands of dollars, and the only new leads we developed pointed back to Greg Taylor and (his friend) Johnny Beck," Wake County District Attorney Colon Willoughby said.

Taylor and Beck were arrested on the same day that Thomas was found dead on South Blount Street in in southeast Raleigh, where Taylor had gotten his truck stuck in mud.

Police later dropped the charges against Beck because they didn't have enough evidence. Taylor was convicted in April 1993, but was declared innocent nearly 17 years later after it was determined that physical evidence linking him to the crime was discredited.

Willoughby says that, given the fact the SBI misreported blood testing at Taylor's 1993 trial, he does not believe it is prudent to let the agency handle the case.

Littlejohn, however, says she believes that neither the police department nor the DA's office wants to acknowledge that they arrested and prosecuted an innocent man.

"I don't see any reason why the police can't do this investigation," Willoughby said. "We've got new chief and new detectives – a completely new department."

Littlejohn, however, is not satisfied. "I'm not going away," she said.

30 Comments

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  • adw2 Jun 14, 6:08 p.m.

    I have always felt that Greg was innocent and I still do. I'm not sure who killed Jaquetta, but I pray that one day the family will get the justice they deserve by finding the true killer.

  • didisaythat Jun 13, 8:29 a.m.

    The facts brought out in the fake court do not prove him innocent. I will give you that it shows he should get a new trial. Not a fake one. The posts saying the police and DA do not want to find the real killer because it will make them look worse is ludicrous. As someone very familiar with law enforcement it is the only goal. Not finding the person that committed the crime is not solving the case. The police did not plant his SUV at the scene. They did not make him smoke crack in that cul-de-sac. They did not make them "walk past a dead person" and not call the police. I contend they killed her in a fit of rage from the crack. There is no other facts that point to other suspects. that is the sad truth and facts of the case.

  • wayneuber Jun 12, 2:58 p.m.

    No court (including the IC) has determined who killed (or didn't kill) Jaquetta Thomas. The term "Innocent" in this forum is being abused or watered down to a defense attorney's definition (or "not guilty"). A proper re-investigation of this case would not exclude anyone that was at or near the crimescene in the immediate hours before and after Jaquetta's body was discovered.

  • polsonl Jun 12, 1:29 p.m.

    I pray for justice for this family. I can not imagine what they ahve been thru. They can rest assured though that whoever killed her, will eventually be held accountable by the one Judge (God) they can deny nothing to. They will receive their punishment at that time.

  • Ambygirl Jun 12, 1:09 p.m.

    "Littlejohn, however, says she believes that neither the police department nor the DA's office wants to acknowledge that they arrested and prosecuted an innocent man."

    And I agree with her 100%! They were looking for a patsy and they used Greg Taylor. The IC showed us just how corrupt everything about this case was. And I still believe the departments that put him in jail are still just as corrupt as ever.

    I hope and pray they find the real killer(s) after all these years. If they take the time and energy they used to convict an innocent man, they should be able to find the real criminals.

  • Gork Jun 12, 12:50 p.m.

    "anastasia" or whatever - "last seen with the victim" - wth are you talking about??

  • FE Jun 12, 11:57 a.m.

    There is a world of difference between "not guilty" (insufficient proof to convict in a court of law) and "innocent" (the accused person did not commit the crime).

    The technical aspects of the SBI analysis, and witness testimony, are above the head of most readers here. But a false positive test, or poor interpretation and/or explanation by a witness, should not rule out the other credible evidence in the case.

    The Wake County CCBI had other (some might even say "strong") evidence, including separate and independent tests for blood. The public focus remains, unfortunately, upon the very narrow issues raised by the Innocence Commission.

    The eyewitness testimony was the weakest link, especially if some "let's make a deal" issues were authorized by the District Attorney before the trial started.

    There may well be insufficient evidence to prove Gregory Taylor is guilty "beyond a reasonable doubt." However, there are many who, with justification, feel he is far from "innocent."

  • didisaythat Jun 12, 10:40 a.m.

    They got the person that killed the womam and a fake court found him innocent. The killer was set free.

  • working for deadbeats Jun 12, 10:39 a.m.

    This is a great store to learn from. Don't do drugs and hang out in bad areas of town.

  • anastasia Jun 12, 10:38 a.m.

    Last seen with the victim, truck found stuck in mud near victims body. So a couple of false postive field tests for blood means not guilty? I don't think so.

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