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Court Rules on Death Penalty in Tiffany Long Murder Case

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BURLINGTON — Two teens appeared in court Thursday to determine whether they would face the death penalty for the murder of 10-year-old Tiffany Long.

The Rule 24 hearing determined the state will proceed with a death penalty case against Dorthia Bynum, which requires her to be represented by two lawyers.

One of Bynum's attorneys, David Harris, withdrew from the case Thursday citing "illness and medical reasons."

Graham attorney Craig Thompson was named as Harris' replacement.

The judge ruled the state's case against Harold Jones will not be a death penalty one based on Jones' age. Judge J.B. Allen then dismissed one of the lawyers defending Jones.

The attorney who remained, Robert Jacobs, then threatened to quit, saying he needed more help. "I can only accept an appointment where I feel I have the capability, the resources, and the support, to prepare a competent and appropriate defense for any client," Jacobs said.

Jacobs took his argument a step further. "I would not have accepted the appointment, and I believe that the rules of professional conduct prohibit me from accepting an appointment, if that is not the case," he said.

The judge ruled Jacobs would have to file a written motion if he wanted to be excused from the case. As of noon, he had not done so.

Tiffany Long's bludgeoned body was found October 16, 1998 outside a vacant rental house near her Burlington home. From Staff and Wire Reports


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