Local/State

Peterson could learn this week if he gets new trial

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Convicted murderer Michael Peterson could learn this week if he will get a new trial.

The Durham novelist, who was convicted of killing his wife 10 years ago, is seeking a new trial based on alleged SBI crime lab mistakes.

Kathleen Peterson's body was found at the bottom of a stairwell in the couple's million-dollar mansion Dec. 9, 2001. According to investigators, she was beaten to death with a fireplace poker by her angry husband. Peterson has said he didn't do it.

Tuesday, during the last day of testimony in Peterson's appeals hearing, his defense attorney tried to show that a former SBI agent should not have testified in Peterson's trial.

SBI veteran Duane Deaver was a key witness against Peterson during that trial.

Tom Bevel, a well-known bloodstain pattern analysis expert, told the judge Tuesday about his review of Deaver's work in the Greg Taylor case and Peterson case.

Bevel echoed the same opinion shared by other forensic experts that were called to the stand last week saying Deaver's work was questionable.

"There were inaccuracies and or mistakes in several different areas," Bevel said.

Meanwhile, Durham's embattled DA will be the focus of a hearing Wednesday over what some defense attorneys claim are misleading court documents.

Tracey Cline has come under fire for requesting prison visitation records and defense attorney financial records in two cases pending in the court of appeals-outside her jurisdiction.

However on Tuesday, Cline filed court motions saying she no longer wanted those records.

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