"In September, the state's senior prosecutor was in an unusual place: the witness stand. And what he said has caused quite a stir among lawyers around the state.
"Jim Coman said under oath that the state Attorney General's Office had a policy of withholding a certain type of evidence helpful to defendants."The prevailing view when I was there the first time, both under Judge [Lacy] Thornburg and Attorney General [Mike] Easley and now Governor Easley," Coman said, "was that just because something embarrassed a witness or might be impeaching to them, did not in and of itself, unless it went to being exculpatory, was not something we had to turn over." N&O
"I was not very precise," he said. "My use of the term 'impeaching' or 'impeachment' ... would have not been accurate." N&O
"...Mr. Coman (who was Agent Ransome’s boss and head of the SBI during the first trial of Alan Gell, and who did a very honest and honorable job as lead prosecutor in the second trial of Mr. Gell)... " Bannon Letter
"Superior Court Judge Leon Stanback granted a motion by the defendant's attorney, Public Defender Robert Brown Jr., to send the tapes to Florida to be examined. Brown said an expert there will use computer analysis to identify voices on the tapes.""Brown made the request a day after another expert in Raleigh was unable to adequately reconstruct the tapes. Brown said the tapes are crucial to his case because they will show the victim's demeanor before and after the assault.""The tapes, which have the victim's voice on them, will be used in the trial of Timothy Malloy, who is charged with rape and sexual assault at a Durham gas station where he worked.""Prosecutor Mary Winstead said she accidentally erased a small portion of both tapes while she was listening to them in preparation for the trial. ""Somehow her voice and that of a detective ended up on one of the tapes, she said.The tapes were taken from an answering machine belonging to a friend of the woman who reported the rape early April 25, 1992." N&O September 29, 1993
“According to friends, Mr. Nifong’s resolve had begun to falter even before the ethics charges were brought against him.“At a court hearing on Dec. 15, a DNA laboratory director admitted that he and Mr. Nifong had deliberately withheld exculpatory information from a report. Mr. Nifong prided himself on integrity, having been a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War, yet the laboratory director’s testimony and his acknowledgment of the error undercut his reputation.“Things only worsened from there.“Some fellow district attorneys advised Mr. Nifong privately in Raleigh on Dec. 19 to take himself off the case. Mr. Nifong felt stunned and subdued, friends say, yet still could not bring himself to exit. In an interview with The New York Times two days later, he described such a step as tantamount to letting defendants handpick their own prosecutors. But then the North Carolina State Bar filed an ethics complaint on Dec. 28, taking him to task for his early public comments about the case. It was an unprecedented rebuke for a prosecutor in the middle of a legal brawl. The next day, the North Carolina Conference of District Attorneys issued a news release asking him to recuse himself immediately."Mr. Nifong’s friends told him he had two choices: dismiss the case or ask the attorney general to take it over.”
"In a two-hour meeting at his office on Thursday, Mr. Nifong and an aide talked about the choices, an official involved in the case said. He told the accuser that a trial would be brutal, but that he had already talked with the attorney general’s special prosecutions unit and trusted that office to give the case a fair review. He asked what she wanted to do.
“She was concerned about the effect of the case on Mr. Nifong’s career, the official recalled. She wanted to sleep on the decision. She continued to insist she had been sexually assaulted.“On Friday, she and Mr. Nifong spoke by telephone. She again said she wanted to go forward. Although she was not happy about Mr. Nifong’s giving up of the case, the official said, she said she understood his reasoning and pledged to cooperate with any new team.”