Pastor files lawsuit against Winterville after serving 8-years in prison for alleged robbery
WINTERVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - A Pitt County Pastor who served eight years in prison for a robbery he didn’t commit, has filed a lawsuit against a town in the east.
In 1993, Winterville Police charged 19-year-old Darron Carmon with robbing the Fresh Way Convivence store at gunpoint, now renamed Winterville Food Mart.
According to a lawsuit filed by Carmon’s attorney this week, Winterville police officers arrested him even though he didn’t match the store clerk’s description.
They said the robber was 6 feet tall. Carmon who is 5-foot-6 says he was nowhere near the store when the alleged robbery happened.
“I had an alibi,” Carmon said.
The lawsuit also reads the officers took finger and palm prints from the convenience store that did not match Carmon’s. Rather than turn the prints over to a prosecutor or Camron’s attorneys in court they placed them in a Winterville evidence locker for nearly 30 years.
Carmon served 8 years of a 40-year sentence in prison and was released in 2001 for good behavior.
In 2021, Carmon’s post-conviction attorneys filed a public records request which proved the fingerprints from the crime scene didn’t match his. His conviction was vacated.
“The Winterville Police Department never turned them over. They were sitting in a locker for almost 30 years,” Carmon said.
WITN reached out to the Town Attorney, Keen Lassiter and he says he has no comment regarding the lawsuit at this time.
Meanwhile, Carmon says they’ve had more than enough time.
“Mentally I have to deal with that every single day of my life, knowing I did not commit that crime. For eight years I was there [prison], but I have to live with that for the biggest portion of my life,” Carmon said.”
Carmon is a pastor now and before he was arrested 30 years ago, he was studying commercial arts at Pitt Community college.
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