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  1. #1
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    NC - Sabrina Buie, 11, raped & murdered, Red Springs, 25 Sept 1983

    'A pair of siblings who served decades behind bars in the rape and murder of a North Carolina child will walk out of prison free men Wednesday after DNA evidence implicated someone else.
    Henry McCollum and Leon Brown were just teenagers when they were arrested in 1983 and charged with the rape and murder of 11-year-old Sabrina Buie in Red Springs...'

    'DNA found on a cigarette "matched another individual named Roscoe Artis, a convicted rapist and murderer who lived less than 100 yards from where the victim's body was found," said a statement from McCollum's and Brown's attorneys.
    Artis is serving a life sentence in a North Carolina prison on a separate conviction.'

    http://edition.cnn.com/2014/09/02/ju...iref=allsearch

    'The day-long evidence hearing included testimony from Sharon Stellato. The associate director of the North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission discussed three interviews she had over the summer with the 74-year-old inmate, who was convicted of assaulting three other women and now suspected of killing Buie.'

    'According to Stellato, the inmate said at first he didn't know Buie. But in later interviews, he said the girl would come to his house and buy cigarettes for him.'

    'The man also told them he saw the girl the night she went missing and gave her a coat and hat because it was raining, Stellato said. He told the commission that's why his DNA may have been at the scene. Stellato said weather records show it didn't rain the night Buie went missing or the next day.'

    'Stellato also said the man repeatedly told her McCollum and Brown are innocent....Still, he denied involvement in the killing, Stellato said.'

    http://www.charlotteobserver.com/201...l#.VAbs6csaySM
    We 'embraced' the missing Bob Harrod case as requested but 6 years on, are still waiting for further guidance


    Flyers/FB/Case Overview&Media Links
    http://www.websleuths.com/forums/sho...2009-19/page22

  2. #2
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    'Court documents show the results of the DNA testing that the commission ordered on materials gathered at the scene of Buie’s murder. All the items tested – including her panties and other items of clothes, hairs collected from her shoes, sticks used in the killing, three Schlitz Malt Liquor cans and the butt of a Newport cigarette – excluded McCollum or Brown. However, the tests did manage to produce a partial DNA profile from the cigarette butt that was consistent with having come from an unidentified male.'

    'At the commission’s request, that DNA profile was then put through the national DNA database, known as CODIS, and in July a positive match was attained, connecting the cigarette butt to Roscoe Artis. When lawyers began looking into the life history of Artis, they discovered startling details.'

    Young Sabrina was horribly murdered by being suffocated with her own clothing rammed into her throat with a stick. It won't seem right if a new prosecution isn't brought in this case. It hasn't been decided yet.

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/201...um-brown-artis
    We 'embraced' the missing Bob Harrod case as requested but 6 years on, are still waiting for further guidance


    Flyers/FB/Case Overview&Media Links
    http://www.websleuths.com/forums/sho...2009-19/page22

  3. #3
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    From your link Z, ty,

    "It's terrifying that our justice system allowed two intellectually disabled children to go to prison for a crime they had nothing to do with, and then to suffer there for 30 years," said Ken Rose, a lawyer with the Center for Death Penalty Litigation.
    "It's impossible to put into words what these men have been through and how much they have lost."


    This says it all.

  4. #4
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    I came across this case by chance and looked up Sabrina here to find this thread. I'd clicked on a link from another thread that turned out to be a dead link. It turned out to go to a "Page Not Found" on WITN.com, but there was a Breaking News banner for Two Men Convicted In Child's Murder To Be Freed From Prison After 30 Years.

    I kind of tried to research the case backward.
    I knew that two that were convicted of killing here weren't the ones responsible and that there was a "good idea" of who it really was. I just haven't (yet) found out much about the actual crime (or Sabrina herself). The Guardian link above had the most detail about Sabrina that I've seen.

    There were a few things about juveniles on Death Row related to McCollum and Brown. Those weren't about their innocence, mainly just concerning their ages when convicted.

    I will try to keep looking.



    It's heartbreaking in hindsight, but Mr McCollum said the ABSOLUTE MOST PERFECT WORDS EVER UTTERED to a prosecutor by a falsely accused/convicted person. Why more people don't say the same thing is beyond me.

    "God got your place right in hell waiting for you."
    http://news.google.com/newspapers?ni...g=1926,7768753

  5. #5
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    I read about this yesterday and it is so heartbreaking to think of those 2 innocent men in prison for 30 years. I'm very, very glad they can have their freedom now and to know they won't die in prison. But, so much of their lives has been taken from them.
    "Some circumstantial evidence is very strong, as when you find a trout in the milk."
    - Henry David Thoreau

  6. #6
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    I hope they have to pay these two out the wazoo!
    Media thread for Abby and Libby.


    http://www.websleuths.com/forums/sho...5#post13163455

    WebSleuths Lingo thread.

    http://www.websleuths.com/forums/sho...bsleuths-Lingo

    Unless I provide a link, every one of my posts are to be considered rumor, Speculation, or simply MY OWN OPINION.

    We are the watchers. We are witnesses. We see what has gone before. We see what happens now, at this dangerous moment in human history. We see what's going to happen - what will surely happen - unless we come together: we - the Peoples of all Nations - to restore peace and harmony and balance to the Earth, our Mother.


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  7. #7
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    Awful. Thank goodness they weren't given the death penalty. 30 years in jail is terrible though.

  8. #8
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    You might be even more thankful that they WERE sentenced to DEATH (at least Brown was).
    There's no need for this type of thing happening! I would've said "In this day and age," but not enough time has passed to write it off as something that people "used to do."

    These two men were apparently "slow" (how badly, I do not know) and got Capital punishment for something they didn't do.

    http://news.google.com/newspapers?ni...g=6967,1039567

  9. #9
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    Here are links to two good articles about this. One is from NY Daily News. The other is from Time.

    The Daily News article talks about conversations with the likely real killer, but doesn't mention his name. It has a couple good pics, of Brown (on Death Row at the time) and the DA at his desk, from 1987.

    Time mentions "the inmate's" name. The DNA tested that was found on a cigarette at the crime scene came back as belonging to Roscoe Artis. None of the DNA obtained from the crime scene matched Brown or McCollum. Buie was murdered a block from Artis' home. He is currently serving a life sentence for another rape/murder within weeks of Buie's murder.


    Judge overturns two North Carolina men’s convictions in 1983 killing (NY Daily News, Sept 2, 2014)

    Half-brothers Henry McCollum, 50, and Leon Brown, 46, who served 30 years in prison for the rape and murder of 11-year-old Sabrina Buie, were ordered to be released Tuesday after another man's DNA was discovered on evidence in the case. That man is already serving a life sentence for a similar rape and murder that happened less than a month later.
    According to Stellato, the inmate said at first he didn't know Buie. But in later interviews, the man said the girl would come to his house and buy cigarettes for him, Stellato said.

    The man also told them he saw the girl the night she went missing and gave her a coat and hat because it was raining, Stellato said. He told the commission that's why his DNA may have been at the scene.

    Stellato also said the man repeatedly told her McCollum and Brown are innocent.
    ("the Inmate" mentioned in the story is Roscoe Artis)




    Judge Frees 2 North Carolina Men Imprisoned for 30 Years (Time, Sept 2, 2014

    “He always said, ‘They can go to the North Pole, and they’re not going to find anything,’” Kirby says, referring to Brown.

    “When we heard the verdict, we said, ‘They went to the North Pole.’

    And he said, ‘They sure did.’”
    Both appealed their convictions over the years.

    In 2006, Brown filed a motion to test the DNA of a cigarette butt found at the crime scene.
    The results eventually excluded both McCollum and Brown.

    Several years later, the state’s innocence commission got involved and in July announced that DNA on the cigarette butt actually belonged to [Roscoe] Artis.
    “I think I was crying harder than Leon,” says Ann Kirby, one of Brown’s lawyers. “To hear the word innocent in a courtroom is the pinnacle for any lawyer. It was history making.”

    Both men had been imprisoned for three decades, McCollum being the longest-serving inmate on death row in North Carolina. Brown was on death row for five years until a retrial dismissed his murder charge.

  10. #10
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    Just found this article about Buie's family's reaction to all of this from 11 Eyewitness News (ABC, Raleigh). It also has the first picture of Sabrina that I'd seen.

    The video is basically a small rundown of the case and an interview with Buie's sister. The family is surely on an emotional roller-coaster right now. The sister still thinks that Brown and McCollum have some tie to Buie's murder, from the way it sounds.

    SABRINA BUIE FAMILY: "IT FEELS LIKE HELL"

    The lead investigator with the North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission testified this week that Artis had offered specifics about Buie's case during the course of several interviews. The investigator also said Artis repeatedly said McCollum and Brown were the wrong men behind bars.

    "I never knew the man existed," said Buie of the revelation. "We never knew him and we never even went on that street."
    "You know I have nightmares where I can't get to her in time," she said.
    "It's something you never forget.
    You never forget."
    Buie's said this week's developments have set her family back and they try to wrap their heads around newly-discovered evidence.


  11. #11
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    ‘Free at last!’ DNA evidence clears brothers of rape and murder of North Carolina girl after 30 years in prison (National Post, Sept 3, 2014)

    On Tuesday, a judge overturned the convictions of Henry McCollum, 50, and Leon Brown, 46, in the 1983 rape and murder of Sabrina Buie, 11, citing the new evidence that they didn’t commit the crime.

    The ruling is the latest twist in a notorious legal case that began with what defence attorneys said were coerced confessions from two scared teenagers with low IQs. McCollum was 19 at the time and Brown was 15.
    Superior Court Judge Douglas Sasser said the new DNA results contradicted the case prosecutors put forward.

    He said he was vacating their convictions and ordering their release “based on significant new evidence that they are, in fact, innocent.”
    Because of paperwork, it will likely take until Wednesday for the men to walk free, said Keith Acree, spokesman for the state prison system. They are required to return to the prisons where they have been serving time before they can be processed out.
    Ken Rose, a senior staff attorney at the Center for Death Penalty Litigation in Durham, has represented Henry McCollum for 20 years.

    “It’s terrifying that our justice system allowed two intellectually disabled children to go to prison for a crime they had nothing to do with, and then to suffer there for 30 years,” Rose said.
    The men’s cousin, 52-year-old Ted Morrison of Jersey City, New Jersey, walked out of the courthouse and exclaimed:
    Free at last! Thank Robeson County they are free at last.”

  12. #12
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    This is absolutely tragic.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tawny View Post
    This is absolutely tragic.
    ITA. It could potentially have been even more tragic if McCollum had been executed or if he and Brown had died while incarcerated. I hope they will use the remainder of their lives to the fullest extent of their abilities. It's truly by the grace of God that McCollum is still alive considering he had been on death row longer than any other inmate.
    "Some circumstantial evidence is very strong, as when you find a trout in the milk."
    - Henry David Thoreau

  14. #14
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    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/08/us...s-in.html?_r=0

    But if the case was finally closed, the episode reopened ugly memories of what critics say was a merciless criminal justice system that ran roughshod over helpless people for decades in this poor, sprawling, racially volatile county sometime known as the Great State of Robeson. At the heart of that is the legacy of Joe Freeman Britt, who earned a spot in “Guinness World Records” and a “60 Minutes” profile for his prowess in sending people to death row...

    The current district attorney, Johnson Britt, whose grandfather was first cousin to Joe Freeman Britt’s father, suggested that his predecessor could be tyrannical. “He is a bully, and that’s the way he ran this office,” he said. “People were afraid of him. Lawyers were afraid of him. They were intimidated by his tactics. And he didn’t mind doing it that way.” He added: “You treat people with dignity, and you can get a whole lot more done that way than you can by trying to run over people. And that’s part of his legacy, that he ran over people.”

    In a subsequent interview, Joe Freeman Britt made it clear that Johnson Britt was not his kind of prosecutor, either. “Well, let’s say, if I was a bully, he is a pussy. How about that?” the elder Mr. Britt said. “I think Johnson Britt has been hanging around too much with the wine and cheese crowd.”

  15. #15
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    ETA: I thought I had quoted saralou's post about if they were given the death penalty, my bad.

    Could you imagine? This makes me feel sick to my stomach.

    Would we even know about this if they were put to death though? That's a scary thought. I only remember one case in which a convicted man had his DNA tested by the Innocence Project after his execution, which confirmed his guilt. Roger Coleman.

    Thank goodness we have DNA now so wrongful convictions like this aren't as likely to happen.

    Roger Coleman, he was convicted of the rape and murder of Wanda McCoy, he had a whole lot of people believing in his innocence. Pretty interesting case:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...011201210.html
    Rescuing one animal may not change the world, but for that one animal their world is changed forever! -Unknown

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