Chief justice appoints panel that will decide Joseph Sledge's fate

Chief justice appoints panel that will decide Joseph Sledge's fate

RALEIGH, NC (WECT) - The chief justice of the N.C. Supreme Court has appointed the three-judge panel that will decide the fate of a man who has spent more than half his life behind bars for a Bladen County double murder.

Sledge was sentenced to life in prison for fatally stabbing Josephine Davis and her daughter Aileen Davis after escaping from the White Lake prison in 1976.

Kendra Montgomery-Blinn, executive director of the N.C. Innocence Inquiry Commission, said Tuesday that Chief Justice Mark Martin appointed to the panel: Anna Mills Wagoner of Rowan County, Thomas Lock of Johnston County and Kevin Bridges of Richmond County.

The judges will rule if Sledge provides innocence by "clear and convincing evidence." Their ruling must be unanimous in order for Slege to be exonerated.

Montgomery-Blinn said a date for the hearing had not been set. It will be held in Bladen County or Columbus County, where the trial was held.

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