Freda Black, prosecutor in Michael Peterson trial, died of liver disease, autopsy finds

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- The death of a former Durham County assistant district attorney, who was found dead in her home in July 2018, has been ruled natural.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner released the autopsy results for Freda Black on Monday.

Black, known for her role as a prosecutor in the Michael Peterson murder case, died from liver disease caused by chronic alcoholism, according to the autopsy.

She was found in her home by police officers after her family told officers they had been unable to get in contact with her.

Black had struggled with her alcohol consumption for years, resulting in two DWI charges: one in 2012 and one in 2015.

Black served as a prosecutor on the team that successfully got the murder conviction of Michael Peterson in the death of his wife Kathleen.

She delivered closing arguments for the prosecution.

Years after his conviction, Peterson was granted a new trial. Instead of going through a trial again, he accepted an Alford Plea and was released from prison.

After the trial, Black ran two unsuccessful campaigns for district attorney, the N&O reports. And in 2010, she ran unsuccessfully for a seat on the Durham district court bench.

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