Published: Jul 03, 2011 02:00 AM
Modified: Jun 30, 2011 06:47 PM
A Durham judge will consider dismissing a murder charge against a man found with a bag of bones after his attorney argued that evidence in the case was destroyed.
Michael C. Dorman II of Mebane was charged with first-degree murder Sept. 7, 2010, after a friend alerted police that Dorman had asked him to help dispose of some bones, according to a search warrant.
The bones were identified as the remains of Lakeia Boxley by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. Her mother had reported her missing March 8, 2008.
Last week Dorman's public defender, Lawrence Campbell, moved to dismiss the case because the bones, including teeth used for identification, were given to Boxley's family and cremated before the defense could have them tested by an independent party.
The defense maintains the Office of the Medical Examiner should have retained the bones as evidence.
The bones were released Sept. 21, 2010. Soil found on the body, hairs, a bag and other pieces of evidence were retained by the medical examiner's office.
Jonathan Privette, assistant chief medical examiner, testified Tuesday that he considered evidence to be bullets, clothing and other things that come off a body. It is routine to release a body to the family after it has been examined, he said.
According to District Attorney Tracey Cline, the bones were not specified in the motion to preserve the evidence, so the office had no reason to deviate from its procedure.
The office kept part of Boxley's skull in case of questions about the cause of death, Privette testified.
Campbell, however, said all evidence in an open case should be kept until the district attorney's office is consulted.
The medical examiner's office does not need a court order to release a body to the family, Privette said.
Judge Orlando Hudson will rule on Tuesday's motion at a future date.