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Latest Bladen County Trials News
Second suspect in 2014 Elizabethtown murder in custody
Clarkton, north carolina
Investigators with the Bladen County Sheriff's Office and Elizabethtown Police Department have arrested the second suspect wanted in connection to a murder that took place October 2014.
February 23 2015
'Let Me Be The First In The State Of North Carolina To Apologize To Mr. Sledge' | WUNC
Columbus, North Carolina
A three-judge panel in Columbus County has unanimously decided to release Joseph Sledge effective immediately. The panel had met to consider Sledge's 1978 murder conviction of Josephine and Ailene Davis, a mother and daughter who lived in Bladen County.
January 29 2015
SBI to continue investigating 1976 double murder case
North Carolina
North Carolina's State Bureau of Investigation says it will not close the unsolved murders of a Bladen County mother and her daughter 38 years ago "until all viable leads have been exhausted."
January 26 2015
Sledge freed after 37 years in prison
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
A three-judge panel reviewing the 1978 double murder conviction of Joseph Sledge on Friday ordered that he be freed after nearly 38 years behind bars for the stabbing deaths of a Bladen County mother and her adult daughter.
January 24 2015
After 36 years, Joseph Sledge's unfamiliar feeling: normal
Columbus, North Carolina
After more than 36 years in prison, Joseph Sledge, 70, is free. Three judges on Friday declared him innocent of a 1976 double murder in Bladen County. Sledge becomes the… Click to Continue »
January 23 2015
Declared innocent: Sledge freed after 37 years for double murder
Elizabethtown, North Carolina
A three-judge panel reviewing the 1978 double murder conviction of Joseph Sledge on Friday ordered that he be freed after nearly 38 years behind bars for the stabbing deaths of a Bladen County mother and her adult daughter.
January 23 2015
Declared innocent: Sledge set free after 37 years for double murder
North Carolina
A three-judge panel reviewing the 1978 double murder conviction of Joseph Sledge on Friday ordered that he be freed after nearly 38 years behind bars for the stabbing deaths of a Bladen County mother and her adult daughter.
January 23 2015
Declared innocent: Sledge goes free after 37 years for double murders
North Carolina
A three-judge panel reviewing the 1978 double murder conviction of Joseph Sledge has ordered that he freed after nearly 38 years behind bars for the stabbing deaths of a Bladen County mother and her adult daughter.
January 23 2015
Panel exonerates Joseph Sledge in 1976 murders
North Carolina
WHITEVILLE, NC (WWAY) -- For the first time in about four decades, Joseph Sledge is a free man. A three-judge panel exonerated Sledge this afternoon for the 1976 murders of a mother and her daughter in Bladen County. The panel of Judges Thomas H. Lock, Anna Mills Wagoner and Kevin Bridges today heard testimony from a court clerk, who helped find previously unknown evidence Sledge's case, and a ...
January 23 2015
Judicial panel named to review NC inmate's innocence claim
North Carolina
North Carolina's top judicial official has named the three-judge panel that will hear the case of 70-year-old Joseph Sledge, who contends he is innocent of a double murder in Bladen County nearly 40 years ago.
December 16 2014
FBI looking into hanging death of Lennon Lacy (
North Carolina
A prosecutor says the FBI is looking into the hanging death of a black North Carolina teen after his family questioned the official ruling that he killed himself. District Attorney Jon David will hold a press conference in the Bladen County Courthouse Friday at 2 p.m. 
December 12 2014
Convicted Bladen Co. killer testifying at innocence hearing
Raleigh, North Carolina
RALEIGH, NC (WWAY) -- The North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission is in the final day of a 3-day hearing in the case of a 70-year-old man who claims he did not kill a mother and her daughter in 1976. Joseph Sledge has spent more than half his life in prison, and today he's testifying that he did not commit those murders. Sledge escaped from a prison in Elizabethtown after an argument with ...
December 06 2014
Evidence unaccounted for 38 years after eastern NC double murder
Davis, North Carolina
Investigators re-examining a Bladen County double murder case from nearly 40 years ago were unable to find a pair of green prison-issued pants that could have been valuable for the man now trying to clear his name of the crimes.
December 04 2014
Evidence in 1976 double murder unaccounted for, NC Innocence Commission learns
North Carolina
Investigators re-examining a Bladen County double murder case from nearly 40 years ago were unable to find a pair of green prison-issued pants that could have been valuable for the man now trying to clear his name of the crimes.
December 04 2014
Innocence hearing underway for man convicted in Bladen Co. double murder
North Carolina
RALEIGH, NC ( WTVD ) -- The North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission begins a 3-day hearing Wednesday in the case of a 70-year-old man who claims he did not kill a mother and her daughter in 1976. Joseph Sledge has spent more than half his life in prison. Eight members of the commission will hear evidence, and if they agree that Sledge's claim merits further review, a three-judge panel will ...
December 03 2014
Prisoner's innocence claim in 1976 double murder case goes before NC commission
North Carolina
Joseph Sledge has spent 36 years in prison for the 1976 murders of a mother and daughter found in their Bladen County home. The 70-year-old maintains his innocence and believes DNA evidence clears him of the crimes.
December 03 2014
Lisa Byrd named interim president of Bladen Healthcare
North Carolina
Lisa Byrd has been named interim president of Bladen Healthcare.
November 21 2014
Reward offered for information in club murder
North Carolina
LUMBERTON — Nearly seven weeks after a Bladen County man was killed at a Lumberton club, Gov. Pat McCrory announced that a cash reward would be offered for information leading to the arrest of the shooter.
August 03 2014
Bladen man pleads guilty to Wilmington murder
North Carolina
A Bladen County man pleaded guilty to second-degree murder Thursday
July 24 2014
SeHealth wins grant to push healthy eating -
North Carolina
LUMBERTON — Southeastern Health has been awarded a $60,000 grant by the Walmart Foundation to go towards nutrition education in Robeson and Bladen counties.
June 22 2014
Only one provider to cover locals in new insurance marketplace
North Carolina
Residents of southeastern North Carolina won't have as many options in the new health insurance marketplace as most Americans. Blue Cross Blue Shield is the only insurance company that will offer plans in Bladen, Brunswick, Columbus, New Hanover and Pender counties.
September 27 2013
Convicted killer seeks third trial to prove innocence
Murphy, North Carolina
WHITEVILLE, NC (WWAY) -- A man convicted twice for second degree murder is seeking a third trial. Joseph Sledge says he was wrongly accused of the murder of two Bladen County women in the late 1970’s. Josephine Davis, 74 and her daughter Aileen, 53, were found dead in their home Labor Day 1976. Sledge has been incarcerated since 1977 and is serving a sentence of over 161 years on the Pamlico ...
July 18 2013
UPDATE: Raleigh police charge 3 in Bladen Co. native's murder
North Carolina
RALEIGH, NC (AP) -- North Carolina police say they've found no prior connections between a woman killed in her apartment and three people charged with murder. Raleigh police detectives said Wednesday they've charged the suspects with killing Melissa Dawn Huggins-Jones days before her 31st birthday last week. Huggins-Jones had moved to Raleigh two weeks earlier from Cleveland, Tenn. for a new job ...
May 26 2013
Innocence group: Witness lied in 1978 Bladen County murder trial
North Carolina
Attorneys with the North Carolina Center on Actual Innocence say a jailhouse snitch lied when he offered incriminating testimony at Joseph Sledge's 1978 murder trial, according to a motion filed Tuesday in Columbus County.
April 08 2013
Former pastor pleads guilty to involuntary manslaughter in 2002 poisoning of wife
Fayetteville, North Carolina
ELIZABETHTOWN - A Robeson County man pleaded guilty in Bladen County Superior Court on Monday to involuntary manslaughter in the 2002 poisoning death of his wife.
September 26 2012
Former pastor James Cain pleads guilty to involuntary manslaughter in 2002 poisoning of wife
Fayetteville, North Carolina
ELIZABETHTOWN - A Robeson County man pleaded guilty in Bladen County Superior Court on Monday to involuntary manslaughter in the 2002 poisoning death of his wife.
September 26 2012
Dismantling the RJA is a mistake - Bladen Journal
Elizabethtown, North Carolina
I was very disappointed and disheartened to learn that the North Carolina House of Representatives voted to ... As a family member of a victim of murder I am also distressed that the RJA provision allowing an inmate to make a claim based on the race ...
June 22 2012
Bladen County sells hospital to Cape Fear Valley Health System
Elizabethtown, north carolina
ELIZABETHTOWN - Bladen County made it official Monday night: After a four-year affiliation, Cape Fear Valley Health System finalized its purchase of Bladen County Hospital.
April 11 2012
FIRST ON 3: Survey says Columbus, Bladen unhealthiest counties in the state; New Hanover in top ten
North Carolina
WASHINGTON, DC (WWAY) -- Columbus County is the unhealthiest county in the state according to a updated county-by-county study by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The study also found that Bladen County wasn't far behind. It ranked 97th out of 100 counties. New Hanover County came in 10th, Pender County ranked 28th, and Brunswick County ranked 47th. Raleigh and Wake County ranked number one ...
April 03 2012
The Great C-post Conspiracy - Bladen Journal
North Carolina
The most extreme examples are in murder trials; we all remember the 1994 trial OJ Simpson, in which a jury of his peers found the football legend not guilty of the deaths of his ex-wife Nicole Brown and her friend Ronald Goldman. The criminal justice ...
April 03 2012
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