Local News

Trial begins in 1987 Goldsboro rape case

Posted April 19, 2010 3:35 p.m. EDT
Updated April 19, 2010 6:37 p.m. EDT

— The trial started Monday for a Goldsboro man charged in a 1987 rape case for which another man was convicted of nearly two decades ago.

William Jackson Neal Jr., 54, faces one count each of first-degree burglary, first-degree statutory sexual offense, first-degree statutory rape and indecent liberties in the rape of a 12-year-old Goldsboro girl.

The girl initially identified Dwayne Allen Dail as her attacker, and he spent 18 years in prison before DNA evidence proved he wasn't involved.

Defense attorneys on Monday morning presented arguments on a number of motions, including a request to move the trial because of media coverage about Dail's release.

Another motion involved an April 5 letter that Neal had written to Superior Court Judge Arnold Jones, asking that a police interview with a potential witness be disallowed at trial.

Jones denied both motions.

Neal, who has a criminal record dating to 1974, was serving a maximum prison sentence of 93 months in Johnston County for a conviction on a habitual felon charge when he was indicted in the rape in May 2008.

If convicted, he faces a maximum of life in prison on the rape and sexual offense charges and a minimum of 50 years for the burglary charge – the maximum penalties in place at the time the crimes occurred.

According to court records, Neal broke into the bedroom window of the victim, now 35. Weeks after the attack, she was walking with her mother when she identified Dail, then 18, as her attacker.

She testified at his trial and in a May 9, 2008, interview, said she would do so again at Neal's trial.