Evidence Stored Away May Prove Joseph Sledge's Innocence

November 6, 2013— from the Raleigh News and Observer
As Joseph Sledge pleaded for his freedom this year, sheriff's deputies and prosecutors said whatever evidence they had from the 1976 double murder Sledge swore he didn't do had been lost or destroyed.
In August, stored in lockers in the Bladen County Sheriff's office, investigators with the N.C. Innocence Inquiry Commission found boxes and notebooks full of evidence that could be Sledge's ticket out of prison, his lawyers say.
The recovered evidence is the latest development in a fight for the freedom of Sledge, a 69-year-old-Army veteran who has been in prison more than half his life.
The discoveries by innocence commission investigators included evidence bolstering Sledge's insistence that he did not kill Josephine and Aileen Davis, a mother and daughter who lived together in the rural southeastern North Carolina community of Elizabethtown.  Among the information found in the sheriff's gun vault: details about an alternate suspect never provided to Sledge's original attorney as well as dozens of hand, finger and shoe prints left behind by the women's killer, according to a motion filed in the case this week.
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