[Deathpenalty]death penalty news----NORTH CAROLINA
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Mon Nov 22 17:03:09 CST 2004
NORTH CAROLINA----impending execution
Lawyers, professors seek clemency for death row inmate
Defense lawyers and three law professors today asked Gov. Mike Easley to
grant clemency for Charles Walker, who was scheduled to be executed Dec. 3
for the 1992 death of Greensboro resident Tito Davidson.
The case is unusual because Walker was the 1st North Carolina defendant
convicted of murder and sentenced to death in the 20th century without
investigators locating a body.
"That means there is no way to be sure how and by whom this killing was
committed," said law professor James Coleman in a written statement.
"Surely we don't want to send someone to their death under these
But the case against Walker remains as solid now as it was during the
trial, said Howard Neumann, the Guilford County chief assistant district
attorney who prosecuted the case.
"Nothing has been brought to light that wasn't brought to light back
then," he said. "This is old stuff were just rehashing."
Prosecutors argued in Walker's 1995 trial that he beat a handcuffed and
gagged Elmon Tito Davidson Jr. in the knees with a hammer before fatally
Witnesses testified Walker, accompanied by 2 other drug dealers, sought
revenge after Davidson, 20, tried to rob the apartment of Walker's
Police believe Davidson's body was dumped in a trash bin near the former
Morningside Homes community. The Willow Oaks community now sits on the
site of the old public housing neighborhood.
A monthlong, $40,000 search of the city's landfill turned up nothing in
Advocates want death sentence commuted
Lawyers and law professors called Monday for Gov. Mike Easley to commute
the death sentence of Charles Anthony Walker, who is scheduled to be
executed Dec. 3. They said there is little evidence tying Walker to the
The body of Tito Davidson, whom prosecutors say Walker helped kill, was
never found. There was no physical evidence - fingerprints, blood residue
or hair strands - connecting Walker to the killing. There was only the
word of five co-defendants who, in exchange for their testimony, either
avoided any criminal charges or pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.
All but 1 of the 5 co-defendants are out walking the streets, the lawyers
"There is not one single person who can corroborate this other than a
bunch of snitches," said Asheboro lawyer Jonathan L. Megerian at a news
conference in Raleigh.
Megerian was joined by his co-counsel, Paul Green of Durham, and law
professors James Coleman of Duke University, Rich Rosen of the University
of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Marshall Dayan of N.C. Central
University. All three professors are advisors to the N.C. Center on Actual
Innocence, which reviews inmates' claims of being wrongly convicted.
Walker, 39, was convicted of 1st-degree murder in the August 1992 killing
of Davidson. Walker has always contended that he was innocent, Megerian
said. The jury only found that prosecutors proved Walker was guilty of
helping others kill Davidson, but also found Walker was not guilty of
shooting Davidson, as some witnesses had said.
(source: News & Observer)
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