"District Attorney Mike Nifong has requested that he have himself removed from prosecuting the Duke Lacrosse rape investigation, ABC News has learned."A source close to the investigation said Nifong sent a letter to North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper asking his office to assume responsibility of the case."
"The immediate future for Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong does not seem bright. Misstatements and mounting criticism on his handling of the Duke lacrosse rape case may cost him his career."Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong met in his office Thursday with the accuser in the Duke lacrosse case.
"Defense lawyers had served a subpoena on the woman addressed at Nifong's office. She was in the office Thursday and personally received the document, the subpoena said.
"Meanwhile, ABC News and CNN were reporting late this afternoon that Nifong had asked to be taken off the controversial case. ABC, citing an unidentified source close to the investigation, said Nifong had asked the state attorney general's office to take over the case.
"And Nifong also has hired a Winston-Salem lawyer who was critical of his early handling of the case during a national TV interview in April."In December, the Bar charged Nifong with violating ethics rules during numerous media interviews he gave shortly after an escort service dancer alleged that she was sexually assaulted at a lacrosse team party.
"It is unprecedented for the Bar to charge a prosecutor during an ongoing criminal case. Penalties range from disbarrment to losing his license for up to five years.
"A preliminary hearing on those charges is set for Jan. 24 at the Bar offices in Raleigh."
"Under North Carolina law, as we all have learned, only the DA himself can recuse himself from a case. Significantly, the Nifong request removes his entire office from the case--including Linwood Wilson, or any of the ADA's who could be subjected to pressure from Nifong to try the case regardless of evidence."