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Ex-Prosecutors Accused in Evidence Case

April 9, 2004

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) _ The state bar association charged two former prosecutors with withholding evidence and lying to a judge in a 1998 murder trial resulting in a death sentence that was later thrown out.

The complaint said David Hoke and Debra Graves ``knew, or should have known″ they hadn’t given defense attorneys everything he should have in their case against Alan Gell.

Previous court rulings found the prosecutors withheld a tape recording of a key state witness saying she had to ``make up a story″ for police about the 1995 shooting death of Allen Ray Jenkins. The prosecutors also withheld witness statements indicating the murder occurred while Gell was in jail, the rulings said.

Gell’s conviction was thrown out in 2002. At his second trial, in February, Gell was acquitted. He had spent nine years behind bars, half of it on death row.

The bar’s seven-page complaint was published Friday by The News & Observer of Raleigh.

A three-member panel of the bar’s disciplinary committee will schedule a hearing within two to three months.

Hoke is now assistant director of the Administrative Office of the Courts, which oversees North Carolina courts. Graves is a federal public defender in Raleigh. Their lawyer, Jim Maxwell, wouldn’t comment. He said he planned to answer the bar’s charges in a written response next week.

In its 40 years of disciplining lawyers, the state bar has punished only two prosecutors for withholding evidence. Both were put on probation and allowed to continue practicing law.


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