Panel of Judges named to decide
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.
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
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.
is freed, he will be eligible to collect
$750,000 in compensation.