Courts & Crime

North Carolina Commission: Should SBI agent be held criminally responsible?

The North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission could soon address whether to hold SBI agent Duane Deaver criminally responsible for false and misleading statements made during a hearing last September.

Kendra Montgomery-Blinn said the commission discussed Deaver's statements in April. They decided to wait until an independent audit of the SBI serology unit was complete before addressing the issue again, Montgomery-Blinn said.

"I'll be calling commissioners to see if they want to meet and address this," Montgomery-Blinn said today. "The commission could hold someone in contempt of court if they found perjury was committed."

Deaver handled blood analysis in 1991 in the case against Greg Taylor, a Wake County man exonerated in February after 17 years in prison for a murder he did not commit. Deaver had reported to prosecutors in 1991 that a stain on Taylor's SUV had given chemical indications for the presence of blood. He withheld the results of more sophisticated tests that proved the substance was not blood.

Deaver was suspended from his job Wednesday after an audit of the SBI blood analysis unit singled him out among the eight agents who commonly withheld results of more sophisticated tests to determine if a substance was blood.

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