Leland woman found not guilty on almost all charges, one charge still pending

Published: Oct. 19, 2021 at 6:20 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Private investigator Melanie Keene was arrested and charged for allegedly abducting a child earlier this year. Keene appeared in court last week in Onslow County.

Keene’s charges were:

  • Felony abduction of children
  • Felonious restraint
  • Felony obstructing justice- 3 counts
  • Misdemeanor resisting public officer- 2 counts

The restraint charge was dismissed in court. Keene was found not guilty of all but one obstruction of justice charge. That remaining charge is still pending as the jury was unable to reach a verdict. The jury was unable to reach a verdict on that final charge, leaving it as a pending charge. The presiding judge declared a mistrial.

It is not clear when or if Keene will appear back in court. “I know that Melanie has indicated that she is prepared to, if necessary, go back to court and deal with that last remaining charge,” said Walter Rodriguez, Keene’s attorney “But as it stands, the jury seemed to be very clear on where they stood.”

Keene’s attorney, Walter Rodriguez, said they plan to file a motion to dismiss the remaining charge.

Keene’s license is still suspended, but said she is working to get it back now.

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