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Lawyer Says Client Confessed Before Death, Could Lose Law License

By: Tom Skinner
By: Tom Skinner

An attorney was trying to do the right thing when he turned over information that could help prove a convicted killer innocent.

That choice could now cost Staples Hughes his law license.

Hughes is the state's appellate defender. Earlier this year, he revealed that one of his clients, Jerry Cashwell, confessed 20 years ago that he alone killed a couple in Fayetteville.

Cashwell recently died, so Hughes thought his attorney-client privilege was no longer in force.

The co-defendant in the case, Lee Wayne Hunt, was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison.

During a court hearing to seek a new trial, a judge rejected Hughes' testimony. Hughes was later notified that a grievance against him had been filed to the state bar.


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