Nifong's guitars up for auction

June 26, 2008 9:51:41 AM PDT
No sale is final. That's the lesson former prosecutor Mike Nifong learned in federal bankruptcy court in Durham Thursday.

His hopes were dashed when a judge decided to put the disbarred district attorney's prized guitar collection up for auction after he'd written a $3,389 check to keep it.

Court officials say Nifong inadvertently omitted a Paul Reid Smith guitar, a Fender Deluxe guitar, and a Martin guitar from his estate when he filed for bankruptcy. Records show he was given the option to add his collection to his estate to settle his debt or to purchase the guitars at their full value.

But, several potential buyers have come forward in recent weeks, offering to pay more for the guitars. An attorney representing an unidentified group of potential buyers told the judge he was prepared to write a check for $4000, hundreds of dollars more than the amount Nifong had paid to keep his instruments.

The attorney declined to identify his clients, but denied they were affiliated with the three pending civil lawsuits stemming from the Duke Lacrosse case.

This is the latest disappointment for Nifong in his bankruptcy battle. A judge recently denied his request for protection against the lawsuits against him until his bankruptcy case was resolved.

Three separate groups of current and former Duke Lacrosse players are seeking millions in damages, accusing Nifong of spearheading a conspiracy with the Durham Police Department, a DNA lab and several other individuals to prosecute them after an exotic dancer claimed she'd been raped in March 2006.


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