After serving 14 years in North Carolina’s prison system, Joseph Lamont Abbitt is out – a free man. In 1991, a 16 year-old girl and her 13 year-old sister accused Abbitt of raping them. They even identified him in a police line up. Abbitt was found guilty and convicted of two counts of first-degree rape, first-degree burglary, and two counts of first-degree kidnapping. However, The Innocence Commission took a look at the evidence and decided to take Abbitt’s case. Their efforts were rewarded. DNA testing conducted by the NC State Bureau of Investigation and LabCorp of Raleigh, proved without a doubt that Abbitt could not have been the perpetrator of the crimes
Judge A. Moses Massey vacated Abbitt’s sentence yesterday. Now the former prisoner is free to ask the governor of North Carolina for a pardon. If granted the pardon, Abbitt is eligible to receive $700,000 from the state, $50,000 for each year he served behind bars.
Mr. Abbitt says he has few plans. “I’m like a child now. I don’t know what to do,” he said.
*LabCorp conducts many of the DNA testing in high profile cases in the U.S. Their chief scientist has provided information for this blog. The company also played a role in the research for Patricia Cornwell’s first book, Postmortem.
This One’s Bite Is Worse Than His Bark
A Cumberland County, N.C. sheriff’s deputy responded to a complaint about a dog. While parked in a driveway near the suspect’s residence, a pit bull (not the canine suspect) began to attack the officer’s tires. The animal managed to bite through the rubber, deflating all four tires.
It’s Taser An Old Man Day in Wyoming. Y’all Come!
AP News photo
Police Tasered 76 year-old Bud Grose over a dispute about where a parade route ended. Police failed to communicate that important information to the tractor drivers. Grose, thinking he and other tractor drivers had permission to drive around a barricade, headed to the after-parade tractor pull. Officers didn’t see it that way. They thought Grose was not obeying their commands and shot him 5 times with their Tasers. Oh, I forgot to mention that a 9 year-old boy was a passenger on Grose’s tractor during the fracus. Officers did take the time to remove the lad from the John Deere before blasting Grose.
Townspeople attending the festive event nearly rioted when they saw what was happening. Seven officers have since been placed on administrative leave.
Beaumont, Texas… Again!
Two Beaumont, Texas police officers have been indicted for beating an unarmed suspect. The video speaks for itself.
* Note from the staff at The Graveyard Shift – Please keep in mind that these unfortunate incidents are NOT the norm. Most police officers are good people. They’re trained to protect us, not harm us. The story about the pit bull is probably not typical either.