Local News

State appeals dismissed Durham murder case

Posted December 17, 2010 4:13 p.m. EST

— State prosecutors on Friday said they would appeal a judge's recent ruling dismissing a murder charge against a Durham man because of possible mistakes by the State Bureau of Investigation.

A week ago, Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson threw out the case against Derrick Michael Allen after a defense attorney argued that the SBI violated Allen's rights by not sharing everything it found in blood tests.

Allen, 31, was charged in 1998 in the death and sexual assault of a 2-year-old girl. An autopsy showed the girl died of shaken baby syndrome.

His case was among 200 cases that an outside audit said were mishandled by the SBI. The audit revealed agents failed to report correct blood evidence in the cases.

Allen has maintained his innocence and, because of questions raised by the audit, he was released on bond in September after spending more than a decade in prison.

Prosecutors say they worry other cases will be dismissed because of troubles in the SBI's blood-analysis unit.