Local News

Deadline Extended For State's Response To Peterson Appeal

Posted November 10, 2005 3:48 a.m. EST

— The state needs more time to work on its response to the appeal of a Durham novelist currently serving a life sentence for killing his wife nearly four years ago.

Lawyers from the North Carolina Attorney General's Office handling the Michael Peterson case have asked for a 30-day extension to respond to defense attorney Tom Maher's appeal.

Because of the complexity of the case, Peterson's defense attorney, Tom Maher, was given an extension on filing his appeal brief, which is based on five points, including that jurors should never have heard about Peterson's bisexuality or the death of a family friend.

Peterson, also a former candidate for Durham mayor, was convicted of killing his wife, Kathleen Peterson, who was found by authorities dead in a stairwell in the couple's Durham mansion.

After 15 hours of deliberation, a jury in October 2003 found Peterson guilty of his wife's death.

The new deadline for the state's response is Dec. 14. Experts said it could be next spring before the North Carolina Court of Appeals decides on a new trial.