Local News

State Bar Holds Public Hearing About Gell Case

Posted October 20, 2004 5:43 a.m. EDT

— After hearing from dozens of lawyers from around the state about the light penalty of lawyers involved in the Alan Gell case, the North Carolina State Bar held a public meeting about the issue.

At Gell's trial for the 1995 murder of Allen Ray Jenkins, evidence was withheld -- including statements of people who saw the victim alive after Gell was already in jail for car theft. After nine years behind bars -- many on death row -- Gell was set free.

A state bar disciplinary panel found the actions of the former prosecutors in the case -- David Hoke and Debra Graves -- to be an honest mistake. The state imposed the smallest penalty it could -- a reprimand on the lawyers involved.

On Wedneday, the bar allowed some of its members to ask questions about the disciplinary hearing. Many of the lawyers thought the hearing was weak.

Gell attended Wednesday's hearing, but he was not allowed to speak.

The WRAL NewsChannel will broadcast the entire hearing at 9 p.m. Wednesday, 8 a.m. Thursday and 9 p.m. Thursday. The NewsChannel is available to TimeWarner digital cable subscribers on channel 256 and over the air to digital receivers on channel 5.2.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story referred to the disciplinary group as the North Carolina State Bar Association. The correct name for the group is the North Carolina State Bar.