North Carolina's appeals court has temporarily blocked the release of two convicted murderers sentenced under a 1970s law that limited life terms.
The court clerk issued an order Monday afternoon approving a request to halt the case, but he gave no explanation. The decision gives state attorneys another chance to argue the inmates should not be set free.
Superior Court Judge Ripley Rand had ordered convicted murderers Alford Jones and Faye Brown freed earlier Monday. Their attorneys convinced Rand that sentence-reduction credits have shortened their life terms, which were defined as only 80 years when they were sentenced.
Rand had set a 5 p.m. deadline for the Department of Correction to release Jones and Brown.
The attorney general's office is trying to block the release of two inmates sentenced to life in prison for murders here in East Carolina.
Two inmates , Faye Brown and Alford Jones, could be freed by 5:00 p.m. Monday. This after a superior court judge issued a ruling in their cases Monday morning.
Brown and Jones had hearings in Goldsboro and Raleigh, arguing they were being illegally held by prison officials. Their attorneys said the two had received years of sentence-reduction credits while behind bars. They contended the credits, combined with a 1970s law that defined their "life" sentences as only 80 years long, mean their prison terms are complete.
To read the judge's rulings, click on the links at top of story
In October, Governor Beverly Perdue said the approximately two dozen lifers could not get out early because good behavior credits did not apply to them.
Perdue told WITN News she is furious with the judge's decision and they are taking steps to get the orders stayed so the inmates cannot get out of prison later today. The governor says they will appeal the judge's decision.
The attorney general's office filed a request Monday afternoon asking the state court of appeals to halt the release until judges there can hear arguments.
Brown has been in prison for the 1975 murder of Trooper Tom Davis in Martin County. Jones was convicted for the death of William Turner Sr. of Kinston during an attempted robbery that also happened in 1975.