Published: Oct 19, 2012 12:00 AM
Modified: Oct 18, 2012 07:28 PM
DURHAM - Derrick Michael Allen will have to wait for a bail-reduction hearing after Superior Court Judge Jim Hardin recused himself from the case.
Allen, 33, has remained in the Durham County jail under $100,000 bail since Sept. 6 as he awaits a new trial, according to jail records.
Allen was charged with sexually assaulting and killing Adesha Artis, the 2-year-old daughter of his girlfriend in 1998. An autopsy showed the toddler died from shaken-baby syndrome.
Facing a possible death sentence, Allen entered pleas in August 1999 in which he accepted guilty verdicts for second-degree murder and a first-degree sexual offense, but acknowledged no guilt.
In March 2009, the trial court vacated the judgments against Allen, allowing him to withdraw his guilty pleas. Allen faced the possibility of a new trial in 2010, but Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson dismissed the case against Allen saying his constitutional rights had been violated by prosecutors and State Bureau of Investigation agents who failed to share crucial details of blood tests. The state Court of Appeals ruled that Hudson had no legal basis for dismissing the case.
On Thursday Allen’s attorney, Marlon Howard, started to argue that his client’s bail should be reduced because the Durham native was indigent and faced danger in jail from his fellow inmates because of his previous sexual assault charges involving a child.
“My client has a reason to believe that certain individuals within the facility wish to do him harm,” Howard said, describing instances in which people were “popping his lock on his cell.”
At that point Hardin stopped Howard and said he couldn’t preside over the hearing as Hardin was the district attorney when the case was charged.
The bail hearing was rescheduled for the week of Oct. 29 or Nov. 5, depending on the schedule.