NEW HANOVER COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - A man convicted in the 1999 killing of an FBI secretary has requested a review of his criminal trial and all evidence used in the proceedings.
Following a more than nine-week trial in 2008, Tyrone Delgado was found guilty of first-degree murder in the August 1999 death of FBI secretary Melissa Mooney, and was sentenced to life in prison without parole. District Attorney Ben David, who prosecuted the case, said Delgado broke into Mooney’s Castle Hayne home and strangled her to death.
The conviction was upheld by a state appeals court in 2010, however, Delgado, who is now 50 years old, recently filed a motion for appropriate relief – a mechanism that allows individuals convicted of a crime to seek relief for any potential errors that occurred before, during or after a criminal trial.
In a hearing on Friday, a judge allowed Delgado’s case to proceed. The case involved more than 100 witnesses and 600 exhibits, according to David.
“We know that this an exhaustive analysis that they’re going to have to undertake,” David said, “and I’m confident that when all of these proceedings are concluded Mr. Delgado will remain in the department of corrections for life without parole.”
Despite being confident a review of Delgado’s case will reach the same outcome, David said he still considers it a high priority.
“It was when it happened 20 years ago, it was 10 years later when we arrested Mr. Delgado and ultimately secured his conviction,” David said. “And it’s important 10 years later now that all those appeals have been exhausted and we’re right back here at the trial level… As the prosecutor who handled this case from the very moment it happened until we ultimately convicted him, I intend to be in a courtroom anytime Mr. Delgado is to remind the judge and anyone who will listen exactly why he needs to remain in prison for the rest of his life.”
N.C. Department of Corrections records show Delgado has racked up five infractions in prison, including three for fighting, one for disobeying an order and one for being in an unauthorized location.