Appeals court overturns backpack bones ruling

Michael Dorman
February 19, 2013 6:23:37 AM PST
The North Carolina Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that a man accused of killing a woman and carrying her bones around in a backpack should face trial.

The ruling overturns Judge Orlando Hudson who dismissed the case against Michael Dorman of Mebane after ruling that prosecutors had destroyed evidence without allowing the defense to review it.

Dorman is accused of the murder of 31-year-old Lakeia Boxley. Boxley disappeared from her Durham apartment in March 2008.

Prosecutors say after the killing, Dorman carried Boxley's bones around in a backpack.

When Dorman was arrested, he told investigators he simply found the remains. His defense team said police failed to preserve the bones so they could be examined by defense experts. Boxley's family had them cremated after they were released by the medical examiner's office.

Hudson and former Durham County District Attorney Tracey Cline butted heads when he dismissed the case against Dorman.

In 2011, Cline argued that the cremation was not a reason to allow a suspected killer to walk free. Cline also said at the time that a portion of Boxley's skull was saved and was available for DNA testing.

Investigators and medical examiners called by the state later testified that there was no plot to destroy evidence.

Last year, a judge lowered Dorman's bond to $150,000 despite having the murder charges dismissed. Dorman currently remains behind bars.

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