In Iredell County, a judge declared a mistrial after it was revealed that the State failed to turn over hundreds of pages of evidence in the case of Al Bellamy. The State had been seeking the death penalty, but the judge ordered that if Bellamy is retried, the maximum penalty shall be life without the possibility of parole.
Among the evidence not turned over was a statement by one of the prosecution’s key witnesses indicating that one of the victims in the case was armed. This statement was also not revealed to counsel for Bellamy’s co-defendant, Travis Ramseur, who was convicted and sentenced to life without the possibility of parole last summer.
It must be mentioned that this scandal happened to erupt just as the legislature was considering a bill that would shield prosecutors from sanctions for similar discovery violations. Learn more here and here. The latter link tells the story of Chris Foye, who pleaded guilty to a crime he did not commit in order to avoid the death penalty, only to learn later that the State Bureau of Investigation had concealed DNA evidence that would have exonerated him.