Police say they're not disputing Taylor's innocence

Greg Taylor listens to closing arguments in front of the North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission on Thursday, February 17, 2010. (AP Photo/Shawn Rocco, Pool)

March 17, 2010 3:48:12 PM PDT
Raleigh police chief Harry Dolan said Wednesday that his department is not disputing Greg Taylor's innocence - calling a ruling by a three-judge panel "final."

Dolan's statement came a day after Taylor's attorney circulated word that detectives had requested that they be allowed to test his clothing for DNA.

Seventeen years ago, Taylor was convicted of the September, 1991 murder of Raleigh prostitute Jacquetta Thomas, 26, whose body was found dumped on South Blount Street in Raleigh.

Taylor always claimed his innocence, but exhausted his appeals. Then, the North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission reviewed the evidence against him last year and recommended the case to a three judge panel for further review. The panel declared him innocent last month.

Tuesday, Taylor's lawyer said police had requested to test the clothing Taylor was wearing the night Thomas died. Taylor has agreed to the testing, but he said he was suspicious of the department's motives.

"All that frustration and confusion that I felt all these years fighting my case, they came back," Taylor said. "This is mind-boggling because three judges declared that I was innocent and I just don't understand the Raleigh police department. I mean don't they know what the word innocent means."

But Chief Dolan said Wednesday they are not trying to once again pin Thomas's murder on Taylor.

"I am assembling a team of detectives who are charged with reinvestigating this case from the beginning. The detectives have requested that all the evidence be examined using today’s advances in science and technology," said Dolan. "Ms. Thomas and her family deserve no less."

Anyone with information that might be helpful to detectives is urged to call the Raleigh Police Department or Raleigh CrimeStoppers at (919) 834-HELP.

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