Local News

Durham magistrate suspended

Posted April 28, 2011 6:13 p.m. EDT
Updated April 28, 2011 8:55 p.m. EDT

— A Durham County magistrate facing a complaint over his handling of a school stabbing case was suspended with pay Thursday.

According to court documents, Magistrate Sam Biers is accused of falsifying his date of birth on his employment application to conceal a criminal record. Sources said he was convicted of felony breaking and entering in Michigan.

Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson is expected to hold a hearing on the matter within 30 days.

The mother of a Northern High School student who was stabbed last month recently filed a complaint against Biers and demanded that he be removed from office.

Kenya Newell said her son was still undergoing emergency surgery while the student charged in the case was released on the $5,000 bond Biers set in the case.

Eric Tyrone Prince Jr., 16, of 625 Martin St., is charged with assault with a deadly weapon and having a weapon on school grounds.

Newell said Prince admitted to investigators that he had brought a knife to school for the sole purpose of stabbing her son and should have been held on a higher bond. She also complained that Biers didn't seem to take her concerns seriously.

Biers on Wednesday denied any wrongdoing, maintaining that he never even spoke with Newell. Biers also denied having a criminal record.

Chief District Court Judge Marcia Morey, who oversees magistrates in Durham, told WRAL News previously that the charges Prince faced usually result in a bond of at least $30,000, but the amount of any bond is up to the discretion of a magistrate.