Three Judge Panel Decision for James Blackmon

On August 20-22, 2019, a three-judge panel convened in Wake County to hear the case of State vs. James Blackmon (Wake – 83 CRS 84695). In 1988, Mr. Blackmon entered an alford plea for the September 28, 1979, murder of Helena Payton. At the end of the hearing, the three-judge panel unanimously concluded that Mr. Blackmon had proven by clear and convincing evidence that he was innocent of second-degree murder.

Response of Commission’s Executive Director to Recent Media Coverage in Winston-Salem Journal on June 14, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | From the North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission | Lindsey Guice Smith, Executive Director The Commission’s mission is to ensure the innocent as well as the guilty receive justice.  The arrest of Darren Johnson is a direct result of the information uncovered by the Commission’s investigation.  That investigation came decades after the police interviewed Mr. Johnson, accepted …

Innocence Inquiry Commission Holds Hearing

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | From the North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission | Lindsey Guice Smith, Executive Director On June 4-7, 2019, the North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission held a hearing related to two separate convictions for claimant Merritt Williams: State vs. Merritt Williams Drayton (Forsyth – 86 CRS 018809 – Wilson) and State vs. Merritt Williams Drayton (Forsyth – 86 …

Three Judge Panel Decision for Israel Grant

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | From the North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission | Lindsey Guice Smith, Executive Director On January 18, 2019, a three-judge panel convened in Mecklenburg County to hear the case of State vs. Israel Grant (Mecklenburg – 05 CRS 244094; 05 CRS 076342).  Mr. Grant was convicted for the August 15, 2005 robbery of Christina Adcock and Jason Taylor.  At …

Three-Judge Panel Holds Hearing in State vs. Israel Grant

CHARLOTTE – A three-judge panel will convene in Mecklenburg County today to hear the case of State vs. Israel Grant. On November 29, 2017, the North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission held a hearing in State vs. Israel Grant (Mecklenburg – 05 CRS 244094; 05 CRS 076342). Grant was convicted for the August 15, 2005, robbery of Christina Adcock and Jason …

Innocence Inquiry Commission Holds Hearing

On November 14-16, 2018, the North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission held a hearing in State vs. James Blackmon (Wake – 83 CRS 84695). Mr. Blackmon was convicted for the September 28, 1979 murder of Helena Payton in her college dorm at St. Augustine’s College in Raleigh, NC. During the hearing, the Commission’s Executive Director, Lindsey Guice Smith, presented the case …

Innocence Inquiry Commission Holds Hearing

On October 1-5, 2018, the North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission held a hearing in State vs. Wallace Brandon Jones (Washington – 94 CRS 1973; 95 CRS 1965) and State vs. Leroy Spruill (Washington – 94 CRS 1566; 94 CRS 1984). Mr. Jones and Mr. Spruill were convicted for the December 18, 1993 murder and robbery of Frank Swain in Plymouth, …

NC Innocence Inquiry Commission Director Elected President of NC Association for Property and Evidence

March 26, 2018 North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission Executive Director, Lindsey Guice Smith, was elected President of the North Carolina Association for Property and Evidence (NCAPE). The announcement was made on March 21, 2018 by NCAPE Executive Director Tim Culp during the 2018 Spring Training Conference, which was held at Carolina Beach, NC. Ms. Guice Smith will serve a three-year …

NC Innocence Inquiry Commissioner Receives Wade M. Smith Award

March 12, 2018 The North Carolina Bar Association Criminal Justice Section presented its 10th annual Peter. S. Gilchrist III and Wade M. Smith awards on Thursday, February 1st. These honors are awarded to an outstanding prosecutor (Gilchrist Award) and defense attorney (Smith Award). The awards are named for their initial recipients, former Mecklenburg County District Attorney Peter Gilchrist and renowned …