Durham DA subpoenas judge, others

Durham DA Tracey Cline
December 2, 2011 8:14:26 PM PST
ABC11 has confirmed that Durham County District Attorney Tracey Cline subpoenaed several witnesses Friday for a scheduled evidentiary hearing in the Michael Peterson murder case, including the judge who's supposed to preside over the proceeding: Chief Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson.

From the Chief Public Defender to the Clerk of Criminal Superior Court, multiple courthouse employees received subpoenas for the hearing set for Monday afternoon.

Whether Judge Hudson will preside over that hearing will depend on the outcome of another hearing Monday morning. That hearing will focus on the DA's motions to disqualify Hudson from the Michael Peterson case and two other cases under review.

Cline has publically accused the judge of malicious conduct against her in cases.

Hudson blasted Cline in a ruling earlier this year - accusing her office of "flagrantly violating" a man's constitutional rights by destroying critical evidence and allowing inaccurate testimony during hearings focused on his case.

Cline fired back earlier this month. In a highly unusual filing, she accused Judge Hudson of corruption and asked that he be barred from hearing criminal cases in Durham County in a complaint to the Judicial Standards Commission.

The Michael Peterson case has become caught up in the spat. On Thursday, Cline asked for a delay in the case so that the North Carolina Attorney General's Office can take over.

Peterson, who was convicted of killing his wife 10 years ago, is seeking a new trial based on alleged SBI crime lab mistakes. In an appeal filed earlier this year, Peterson - a well-known novelist - claims a SBI analyst lied about evidence that helped secure his conviction in 2003 on a charge he murdered his wife Kathleen in 2001.

A spokesperson for the AG's office said it has agreed to take over contingent upon a continuance so attorneys can prepare.

A hearing in the case had been set for Dec. 5.

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