Local News

Former Nifong investigator gets higher bond after case revisited

Posted July 1, 2010 4:47 p.m. EDT
Updated July 1, 2010 7:02 p.m. EDT

— A Guilford County judge on Thursday raised the bond for the top investigator to former Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong on domestic-related charges.

Linwood Wilson, 61, is accused of violating a June 8 protective order sought by his estranged wife in Kent County, Del. He is charged with stalking and two felony charges of obscenity, in addition to other harassment charges.

Wilson was released last week on a $1,000 bond after a District Court judge lowered the bond when Wilson called asking for help.

In court documents, Barbara Wilson said her husband once told her that "he owned Durham (and) lawyers and judges would do anything he said."

Judge David Q. LaBarre said Wilson told him he was being arrested on a domestic violence charge but that he didn't know about the other charges when he set bond.

To avoid any appearance of favoritism toward Wilson, the Special Prosecutions Unit of the Attorney General's Office assumed control of the case Wednesday, and Guilford County District Judge Thomas Foster, who was hearing traffic cases in Durham this week, handled his bond hearing Thursday afternoon.

Delaware authorities asked Durham County to arrest Wilson after, they say, he sent Barbara Wilson e-mails, graphic videos, photos and an instant message asking her to remember "to death do we part."

Foster set the bond at $10,000 and ordered Wilson not to contact his wife, her family or her boss and not to leave North Carolina except to handle the criminal case in Delaware.

State prosecutor Pat Murphy had asked for a $100,000 bond, but defense attorney Fred Battaglia said LaBarre is an experienced judge whose decision in setting Wilson's bond shouldn't be questioned.

"I just think $100,000 is outrageous for a man who has served the citizens of Durham to uphold the law," Battaglia said.

The Delaware protective order also prohibits Wilson from being in possession of a gun or other deadly weapon.

Superior Court Judge Ronald Stephens initially stayed that order but reinstated it Tuesday, and Durham County deputies searched Wilson's home and seized his weapons.

Wilson worked for Nifong from 2005 until Nifong resigned in 2007 over his improper handling of rape allegations against three Duke University lacrosse players that proved to be unsubstantial.