FOX News now has an article available at their website reaffirming their televised report that charges may be dismissed as early as Friday. The article also indicates that civil lawsuits are expected to quickly follow formal the announcement of the end of the Hoax.
Report: All Charges Against Duke Lacrosse Players to Be Dropped Soon
"The remaining charges against three Duke University lacrosse players originally indicted for rape may be dropped sometime within the next few days, according to a report.
Inside Lacrosse Magazine writer Paul Caulfield told FOX News on Thursday that several sources have revealed to him that the assault and attempted kidnapping charges still pending against Collin Finnerty, 19, of Garden City, N.Y.; Dave Evans, 23, of Bethesda, Md.; and Reade Seligmann, 20, of Essex Falls, N.J., will soon be dropped.
Caulfield said his sources include more than just attorneys for the defense.
"There is no case here and they will be hearing a dismissal in the coming days," Caulfield told FOX News.
There have been rumors that the families of Finnerty, Seligmann and Evans may be considering civil lawsuits against Nifong, Duke or the state if it turns out the accuser's story doesn't pan out and Nifong is found to be guilty of mishandling the case.
"This is something that will wait in the wings. Once the criminal case is dropped, we are going to see this and I believe we'll see it quite quickly," said Caulfield, a former prosecutor.
An untitled, and apparently unfinished, article appearing on the News & Observer website indicates, or at least anticipates, that charges have been dropped.
XXXXX, From Staff Reports
"The move ends the criminal case against three former Duke University lacrosse players who were accused of a sexual assault on an escort service dancer at a lacrosse team party in March.Update:
"While today’s dismissal marks the end of the criminal case, the legal actions are far from over. Nifong will face disciplinary action at the State Bar, which is likely to file extra charges related to the withheld DNA evidence. The three accused players could sue Nifong, the accuser and the Durham Police Department for violating their civil rights. Duke University and others could be named in lawsuits."Future legal actions will center on a trio of questions: What did Nifong know? When did he know it? And why did he take the case get as far as he did?"
The News & Observer has published an explanation for the premature posting of its unfinished article prepared in anticipation of charges being dropped.
An unpublished draft of a News & Observer story about the case against three former Duke University lacrosse players appeared on at least one Web site Thursday after it was picked up in Internet searches.
The N&O began preparing the draft after Fox News reported that the state Attorney General’s Office intended to dismiss charges of assault and attempted kidnapping against the three former players.
Editors instructed a reporter for newsobserver.com to prepare a story to be published if the charges were dropped. The reporter filed a draft with “XXXXX” in place of a headline. The draft began: “DURHAM — news in a sentence here. The second sentence should say whether the case is totally over now, The move ends the criminal case...”
The draft was filed in the publishing system of newsobserver.com under an embargo, meaning it could not appear on the paper’s Web site until a staffer attached a time and date for publication. But that action gave the story an Internet address, allowing it to appear in Internet searches.
Although the N&O states that the "unpublished" article did not appear on its website and was not given a time and date for publication, a review of a mirrored page created by an industrious blog hooligan appears to indicate otherwise.
"Published: Mar 22, 2007 11:20 AM"
WTVD is reporting that Attorney General Roy Cooper's office is denying the claims that resolution of the Hoax is imminent.
Heightened Anticipation of Duke LAX DecisionUpdate:
"From anonymous tips phoned into Triangle newsrooms to website postings, the public anticipation of a decision on the Duke Lacrosse case appears to have reached a fever pitch. The Attorney General's Office has confirmed its investigation would wrap up soon.
"Today FOX News is reporting sources close to the case say an announcement to dismiss charges against all three former players will be made Friday. However, Attorney General Roy Cooper's office is refuting that claim.
"We don't expect to make an announcement tomorrow," said Spokeswoman Noelle Talley. "Our review of the case, including reviewing documents and conducting interviews, is continuing."
"There has been wide speculation about the future of the case since Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong asked the Attorney General's Office to step in. Special prosecutors James Coman and Mary Winstead have spent weeks pouring over thousands of pages of legal documents. They've met with defense attorneys, District Attorney Mike Nifong and key witnesses including the alleged victim and the defendants."
FOX News is reporting that Crystal Mangum has been summoned today to meet with Roy Cooper's special prosecutors (LS Forum .) Megyn Kelly is also reporting that member's of the accuser's family are anticipating dismissal of the charges (LS Forum).
Defendant Nifong's attorney, David Freedman, appeared on Court TV with Catherine Crier. Continuing his public relations effort on behalf of his client, Freedman laid blame for the decision to withhold exonerating DNA evidence at the feet of co-conspirator Dr. Brian Meehan. Pointing to Meehan's '60 Minutes' interview, Freedman claimed that there was no agreement between the DA and the DNA expert to hide the evidence of actual innocence from the victims of Nifong's hijacked Hoax. Under oath, however, Dr. Meehan testified to the contrary at the December 15, 2006 Hoax hearing. For more details on Crier's coverage, please visit the LS Forum.