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Boggess' Death Penalty Could Be Overturned Due to Technicality

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Todd Boggess (in white shirt), convicted in the murder of a Wilmington teen, could see his death penalty overturned if transcripts are not produced.
DURHAM — The deadline has passed for a court stenographer to explain to a Durham judge why she hasn't turned in transcripts in the Todd Boggess trial. Some say if those papers aren't turned over soon, Boggess' death sentence could be overturned.

Freelance court stenographer Pat McMann-Byrd failed to appear in court Friday morning, but was represented by Attorney Keith Bishop. He conferred Friday with Judge Orlando Hudson and District Attorney Jim Hardin.

McMann-Byrd claims she has not been paid the agreed-upon price for the transcripts of the Todd Boggess murder trial, which lasted for three months. The transcripts would likely consist of thousands of pages.

McMann-Byrd says she had a deal with the administrative office of courts. Bishop says McMann-Byrd is owed $6,000.

McMann-Byrd claims she was originally hired to make five copies of the 10,000 page Boggess trial transcript. The court says it only ordered three copies.

So, while Todd Boggess sits on death row for brutally killing a Wilmington teenager, his appeal hangs on a balance in the same court that convicted and sentenced him. Bishop says the court has, so far, refused to budge.

Judge Hudson says he is "fed up" with this situation and threatened to issue a warrant for McMann-Byrd's arrest.

WRAL-TV5 will have details on Friday's proceedings in its evening newscasts, and WRAL OnLine will provide visitors with updated information as it becomes available.


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