Today's Fayetteville Observer reports, "New DNA evidence leads to hearing for men convicted in 1983 rape, murder of Red Springs girl," by Rodger Mullen.
A hearing has been scheduled based on new DNA evidence in the case of two men convicted of the 1983 rape and murder of an 11-year-old Red Springs girl.
The hearing Tuesday could result in freedom for the two men - 50-year-old Henry Lee McCollum and his half-brother, 46-year-old Leon Brown - who were teenagers when the crime was committed. McCollum is on death row in Raleigh's Central Prison, and Brown is serving a life sentence in Pitt County.
The two were convicted in 1984 of first-degree murder and rape in the death of Sabrina Buie, whose naked body was found in September 1983 in a soybean field about two blocks from her Red Springs home.
Robeson County District Attorney Johnson Britt said a motion for a hearing was filed Tuesday by lawyers for McCollum. The hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. in Superior Court.
"They are asking in one part for a new trial based on newly discovered evidence and in another part they're asking for dismissal of the case," Britt said.
Britt said new DNA testing was done after Brown's lawyers filed a claim of innocence in 2010. The North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission then conducted an investigation of crime scene evidence.
"Motion says Roscoe Artis killed Buie; Seeks release of McCollom, Brown," is by Sarah Willets for the Robesonian.
A motion to dismiss convictions against two men imprisoned for the 1983 rape and murder of a Red Springs girl points the finger at another man who is also incarcerated for a rape and murder in the same town.
The motion, filed at the Robeson County courthouse on Tuesday, asks that convictions against 50-year-old Henry Lee McCollum and 46-year-old Leon Brown be dismissed and that they be released from prison immediately. Put forth by the Center for Death Penalty Litigation and lawyers representing the men, the motion is expected to be heard in Robeson County Superior Court next week.
McCollum is currently on death row for the rape and murder of 11-year-old Sabrina Buie, and Brown is serving a life sentence for her rape. Brown was originally on death row for her murder, but a second trial cleared him of that charge.
According to the motion, tests results from LabCorp show that DNA on a cigarette butt found near Buie’s body matched DNA belonging to Roscoe Artis, a 74-year-old currently serving a life sentence for the rape and murder of an 18-year-old girl in Red Springs about a month after Buie’s death.
Earlier coverage from North Carolina begins at the link.