Local News

Guns, computers seized from home of former Nifong investigator

Posted July 26, 2010 5:19 p.m. EDT
Updated July 26, 2010 8:38 p.m. EDT

— Guns and cell phones were among the items seized in a search of a home and several vehicles belonging to the top investigator for former Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong, according to search warrants released on Monday.

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 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.In the July 15 search, authorities seized a booklet labeled "Barbara Wilson portfolio," 21 pictures of Barbara Wilson, three cell phones, a shotgun and shotgun shells, laptop desktop computers, a mini-disc player, a .38 Special handgun, rifle rounds, VHS tapes and a digital camera.

The items were seized from Linwood Wilson's home at 6910 Innsbruck Way in Bahama and from three vehicles – a 1996 Chrysler Sebring, 1999 Chrysler Town and County van and 2006 Chrysler 300.

In an affidavit filed with the court, Barbara Wilson said her husband was harassing her and her boss with obscene e-mails and text messages.

On several websites, including Craigslist and About Us, Barbara Wilson's profile was changed to include derogatory comments about her, the address where she lived with her parents and a home telephone number, she told police.

Barbara Wilson's boss told authorities on June 9 that Linwood Wilson had threatened to kill him in April. The man also told police that Linwood Wilson had been following him at lunch and dropping by his place of work.

On June 29, Barbara Wilson's boss reported to police that he received a threatening letter in the mail.

"Do you really think a small charge will stop me from getting what I want? You lock yourselves behind locked gates and doors and try to hide yourselves," the computer-generated letter read. "You forget that while you all may hide you leave other members of your family out in the open."

The letter was sent on June 26 – a day after Linwood Wilson was released on a $1,000 bond after a District Court judge lowered that bond at Wilson’s request.

Judge David Q. LaBarre said Linwood 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 state Attorney General's Office assumed control of the case on June 30.

Guilford County District Judge Thomas Foster set Linwood Wilson's bond at $10,000 on July 1 and ordered him not to contact his wife, her family or her boss and not to leave North Carolina except to handle the criminal case in Delaware.

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

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.