NC man’s innocence claims to be heard by panel

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NEWTON, N.C. (AP) — A three-judge panel will hear the innocence claims of a North Carolina man who’s out on parole after serving almost 24 years of a life sentence for a rape conviction.

The hearing for Willie Grimes begins Monday at the Catawba County courthouse in Newton.

In April, the state Innocence Inquiry Commission ruled that enough credible evidence exists to refer Grimes’ case to the Superior Court judges. That panel will decide if Grimes should be declared innocent.

The judges are: David Lee from Union County, Carl Fox of Orange and Chatham counties, and Sharon Barrett from Buncombe County.

In July 1988, Grimes was sentenced to life behind bars for two counts of first-degree rape and nine additional years for one count of second-degree kidnapping. He was released on parole in May.
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This article was provided by The Associated Press.  (Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)