Uncategorized

McCrory pardons wrongly convicted Chapel Hill man

Gov. Pat McCrory gave a pardon of innocence today to a man wrongly convicted of a 1988 slaying in Greensboro.

LaMonte Burton Armstrong, now 63 and living in Chapel Hill, had been released from prison in 2012 after a key witness recanted testimony that falsely linked Armstrong to the killing of Ernestine Compton, a professor at N.C. A & T.

The governor informed LaMonte Burton Armstrong of the pardon in a phone call today, according to a news release from the governor’s office.

McCrory’s pardon will mean Armstrong is eligible for compensation for the 16-plus years he spent in prison.

From WRAL’s story:

As detailed in a news release from the governor’s office, Armstrong was convicted of first-degree murder by a Guilford County jury in 1995 for the 1988 slaying of North Carolina A&T State University professor Ernestine Compton at her Greensboro home.

Armstrong was implicated by an acquaintance, Charles Blackwell, who later became the State’s key witness against Armstrong. Police did not collect any physical evidence at the time that implicated Armstrong.

According to the governor’s office, Blackwell recanted his testimony in the spring of 2010, saying that he testified in order to collect a Crime Stoppers reward and to avoid a lengthy prison sentence. Another witness against Armstrong recanted his testimony immediately after the trial.

In 2012, state investigators reexamined evidence in the case and found that a palm print matched another suspect. Superior Court Judge Joseph Turner then vacated Armstrong’s conviction and ordered him released pending a new trial.

The District Attorney’s Office dropped all charges against Armstrong in March.

Armstrong now works for The Freedom House in Chapel Hill, an outpatient substance abuse treatment center. He is taking classes at Wake Technical Community College to become a certified substance abuse counselor.

According to McCrory, Armstrong had just finished working an overnight shift and was having breakfast with his son during their conversation Monday morning.

“Armstrong had one more request,” according to the release. “A former high school and college basketball player, Armstrong invited the governor to shoot hoops and play a game of H-O-R-S-E.”

According to the governor’s office, McCrory accepted the invitation.

 

2 Comments


  1. ML

    December 23, 2013 at 8:51 pm

    Some good news for once. Let’s hear the guys from civitas complain about the coverage here…

  2. Skeptic

    December 25, 2013 at 7:53 pm

    Reality check: McCrory has supported bills to accelerate executions, making things like this less likely to happen in the future.

Check Also

UNC Board of Governors face protest, chooses new board chair and interim president

It was a busy day at the final ...

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

When the N.C. Senate elected Tom Fetzer to the UNC Board of Governors in March, it was widely seen a [...]

The 12 minutes spent on the phone with Duke Energy customer service shed no light on how — or if — c [...]

Crumbling ceilings. Failing air conditioning and heating systems. Broken down school buses. Mold inf [...]

This story has been updated with comments from Jim Womack, who did not respond earlier to questions. [...]

Last week, the General Assembly announced which legislators will serve on the Joint Legislative Task [...]

The latest effort in Washington to repeal and not actually replace the Affordable Care Act has a dif [...]

Conservative group “reviewing” bigoted attacks; funding from major NC corporations implicated Nearly [...]

5---number of days since Senators Bill Cassidy and Lindsey Graham unveiled a new proposal to repeal [...]

Featured | Special Projects

NC Budget 2017
The maze of the NC Budget is complex. Follow the stories to follow the money.
Read more


NC Redistricting 2017
New map, new districts, new lawmakers. Here’s what you need to know about gerrymandering in NC.
Read more