Suspect in backpack bones case trying to go free

DURHAM

Michael Dorman is accused of killing a Durham woman and carrying her bones around in a backpack for months.

A Durham County judge dismissed his case back in August and has just issued a formal court order dismissing the charges against him.

Dorman's case was tossed out because his alleged victim's skeletal remains were returned to her family and then cremated at the state's expense before his attorneys were able to independently test the remains.

The 69-page court order also serves up some harsh words for Durham's embattled district attorney, Tracey Cline.

Back in August, Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson criticized not only the DA, but also the medical examiner's office and the police department.

However, the recent court order accuses the Cline's office of "flagrantly violating" Dorman's constitutional rights by destroying critical evidence and allowing inaccurate testimony during hearings focused on his case.

Cline has not yet commented on the order, but has denied any wrongdoing in some of her other cases that have come under scrutiny.

Meanwhile, Dorman remains at the Durham County Jail while the state appeals the dismissal.

His attorney said Tuesday another hearing, possibly this week, is likely in an attempt to set him free.

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