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Panel of Judges named to decide Sledge's fate
Three Superior Court Judges have been appointed by the Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court to decide the fate of Joseph Sledge, a 70 year old convicted murderer who has spent over half his life in prison.
Sledge was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for the stabbing death of Josephine Davis and her daughter Aileen Davis of Elizabethtown.  The crime occurred a couple of miles or less from the White Lake Department of Corrections where Sledge escaped in 1978.
A recent hearing in Raleigh by the North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission raised questions about lack of evidence to determine his guilt or innocence. 
Kendra Montgomery-Binn, executive director of the N.C. Innocence Inquiry Commission reported Chief Justice Mark Martin has appointed the three judge panel that will hear the evidence and determine whether Sledge is freed or remains in prison.
The panel consist of judges Anna Mills Wagner of Rowan County, Kevin Bridges of Richmond County and Thomas Lock of Johnston County.
The three judge hearing will be held in Bladen or Columbus County at a date to be determined. The judges must be unanimous if Sledge is to be exonerated. The original trial was moved from Bladen to Columbus.
If Sledge is freed, he will be eligible to collect $750,000 in compensation.


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