Closings and delays

Darryl Hunt’s wife files for domestic violence restraining order

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FORSYTH COUNTY, N.C. -- Darryl Hunt, who spent two decades in prison for a murder he did not commit, is back in the court system after his wife filed a protective order against him.

April Hunt filed a 50-B restraining order at the Forsyth County Hall of Justice Friday following an incident at her house.

A judge granted a continuance order in the case until Wednesday, and told Darryl and April to stay away from each other until then.

According to court documents, April Hunt wrote, "[Darryl] tried to go into my shed out back then he pushed his way into my house screaming, 'who in the hell is in here!!!' I tried to stop him, by pulling him, then he pushed me. We skuffle [sic] a moment. I hit him to stop him. He pushed me down again. Once I was down again, he left. He has been out of the house since May of this year."

Winston-Salem police were called out to the home after the incident, but no charges were filed.

Darryl's attorney, David Hough, addressed the allegations against his client Monday afternoon.

"It’s a tragic situation. I think because Mrs. Hunt has been committed twice this year to mental institutions and she doesn’t act as stable as is necessary," said Hough.

April Hunt's attorney declined to comment about the case.

Hunt spent nearly 19 years in prison after he was convicted twice of fatally stabbing Deborah Sykes, a copy editor at The Sentinel, an afternoon newspaper in Winston-Salem that closed in 1985.

A 2003 series by the Winston-Salem Journal outlined numerous problems with the police investigation and the prosecution, including unreliable testimony from eyewitnesses and the failure to investigate similarities between Sykes’ attack and another one on Feb. 2, 1985.

In December 2003, Hunt was released from prison after DNA evidence led police to Williard Brown, who confessed that he killed Sykes. Hunt was exonerated in 2004, and Brown pleaded guilty to Sykes’ murder.