, Press Release

Chief Justice Beasley Names Three-Judge Panel for Court Hearing Related to Recent NC Innocence Inquiry Commission Decision

The panel will hear evidence relevant to a 2002 murder case in Forsyth County.

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In a March 18, 2020 order, Chief Justice Cheri Beasley assigned members of a three-judge panel to convene a special session of superior court in Forsyth County. The panel members are Superior Court Judge R. Allen Baddour Jr., Senior Resident Superior Court Judge John M. Dunlow, and Superior Court Judge Karen Eady-Williams. The panel will hear evidence relevant to the North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission’s recommendation in the cases of State v. Christopher Bryant, State v. Nathaniel Cauthen, State v. Rayshawn Banner, and State v. Jermal Tolliver. “I have full faith and confidence that the judges selected for this hearing will bring the highest level of professional review to all of the evidence being presented in this case,” said Chief Justice Beasley. “North Carolinians can rest, assured that this review will be fair and just to everyone involved.”

On March 9 – 13, 2020, the Innocence Commission held a hearing related to this 2002 murder case from Forsyth County. The Commission voted 5-3 to send the evidence to a panel of three superior court judges for further review.

About North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission

The North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission is the first of its kind in the nation. The Commission was created by the North Carolina General Assembly in 2006 and began operating in 2007. Since then, the Commission has reviewed over 2,700 innocence claims and conducted multiple hearings.