ONLY ON 3: DA Rex Gore's office flubs another case
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BOLIVIA, NC (WWAY) -- Seems like those pesky problems with the prosecution just won't go away. Yet another mistake by the District Attorney's Office has the trial of an accused rapist on hold.

Jury selection was set to begin in the case of Matthew Wayne Britt Tuesday. Britt was going to face three counts of statutory rape, but the judge found a mistake in the indictment. Assistant District Attorney Meredith Everhardt declined to talk on camera, but says 26-year-old Britt is still in custody on $1 million bond. Everhardt says the trial could have gone on as scheduled if both parties had given it the OK, but Britt refused and the judge continued the case.

The District Attorney's Office had to re-file charges against Britt, who now faces nine counts of statutory rape. Everhardt says the evidence always suggested there were nine counts, but it's rare that anyone is sentenced to more than three terms at a time. Filing only three counts, she says, helped speed up the process.

Now the case will once again have to go all the way back to the grand jury, which will have to indict Britt for a second time.

The mistake will also cost taxpayers more money. In addition to the extra legal fees, the state pays for the victim's family to travel back and forth - we understand to the tune of thousands of dollars. We tried to contact Britt's attorney for comment, but he did not return our phone calls.

We continue to request District Attorney Rex Gore to sit down with us to explain what's going on in Brunswick County. We sent him an open letter on July 21st with the request. So far we've heard nothing back.

If you would like to read the open letter: http://www.wwaytv3.com/open_letter_dist_attorney_rex_gore_re_ada_erin_ho...

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.

This guy just pled guilty and got 20 years. Sounds like money well spent.

Do you know why the headline reads "Only on 3"? It's beacuase the other news outlets realize this story is a non event. Some paperwork on an indictment had inccrrect wording, so the prosecutors are now filing new indictments and the case will be heard in the future. So what? The guy is still in jail, and will still face a judge or jury.

The only reason WWAY is reporting it is that they are trying to get back at Rex Gore for not granting an interview. This is hardly news, and the other media outlets have enough sense to realize this.

The next time an editor at WWAY misses a typo or makes a grammatical error in a story, maybe they should report on themselves, saying that WWAY flubs again.

Bill
Did you even take time to read the story before you starting taking shots at the news agency? Obviously not or you would see that the point of the story is that these mistakes coming out of the DA's office either end up letting guilty people go free (Oak Island Fire Chief) or costing the state thousands of dollars (this case). There is a pattern here. The DA is an elected official and should be held accountable. When mistakes happen he needs to admitt to them and let people know what he is doing about it so they don't happen again. Apparently the majority of people agree and that's why he will be leaving office soon. As far as your other comments about ADA's being overworked and underpaid, so are many other people. That is no excuse to continue to make the mistakes they make. If they can't handle the job they need to find a new one.

Look at the other headlines from WWAY recently concerning Gore. One of them explicitly complained about him not responding to WWAY, but has time to issue news release. They are pi**ed at being ignored, so they are picking on every mistake they make. Mistakes are made in court every day. But the only one they are picking on is Gore. It's personal, that's why none of the other stations or newspaper is looking at this story. Don't for a second fool yourself into thinking WWAY is being noble and calling out mistakes. Otherwise, they'd be taking on Ben David too. But Ben loves the media, and always talks to WWAY, so they give him a pass.

The public is quick to judge people. I knew the defendant and I know there are going to be some upsets when it goes to trial. The DA always paints the worst picture she can so it makes her look good but when this trial comes she will be in for a big surprise. ;-)

This is just a minor glich. As mentioned in the article the case could have continued, but the suspect refused. So he is the one people should be mad at. The DA's office didn't do anything wrong. As mentioned in the article "the evidence always suggested there were nine counts, but it's rare that anyone is sentenced to more than three terms at a time. Filing only three counts, she says, helped speed up the process." Ok, so he would rather be convicted of 9 counts rather than 3? Again, not the DA's fault, but the offender's stupidity! As previously mentioned, Mr Britt is currently a registered sex offender and has been charged with MORE sex offenses so I would think that people would be glad he is in jail. He obviously didn't learn his lesson the first time. I also agree with another post. Why is WWAY focusing so hard on Brunswick County Courts? I challenge them to dig into other county's court systems and see what they find. Sounds like a personal vendetta to me.

Everhart sent two rapist to prison this week. Thanks for being objective WWAY (aka National Enquire).

Frank Elmore Gore, 22, of Willard, North Carolina, pled guilty on Monday in Brunswick County Superior Court to 1 count of Attempted 1st Degree Sex Offense against an 11 year old cousin, who lives in Leland. Assistant District Attorney Meredith Everhart stated in court during the plea that the victim initially disclosed the abuse to her therapist, whom the victim was already seeing as the result of prior sexual abuse by her step-father. The step-father is currently serving a 16 – 20 year prison sentence after pleading to multiple charges earlier this year. Gore received a sentence of 94 – 122 months, which is approximately 7 ½ - 10 years. He will be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life, and he will have to enroll in satellite monitoring for his entire life as well.

Seems like to me that if you won't agree to be interviewed by WWAY, then they begin a smear campaign against you. Sure am glad I'm not a public figure. We, as a society, want to complain about the quality of our public figures, but who in their right mind would want to be the center of character assassinations like those of WWAY!!!

I hope that in November when a new DA is elected that he will make major changes and get rid of those ADA's that cant seem to do there job correctly!

Suprise Suprise! Everyone go to the North Carolina Sex Offender registry and type in Matthew Wayne Britt he was just released from prison for a previous rape charge and is a registered sex offender!

I really feel sorry for the taxes payers of Brunswick County. You people are paying for a DA's office that can't seem to get it right. Aren't they the ones that have to keep crimnals off the street

Maybe a refresher course in Law School??

Yes WWAY has looked into other counties but found Brunswick to be by far the worst.

Why would you feel sorry for anyone regarding this particular case? The DA's office didn't have some words correct in an indictment. They're human. People make mistakes. It happens. It doesn't mean they're incompetent or need to go back to law school. The important thing is that the mistake was caught and is being corrected. The result of their mistake was that a case in court was continued. Big deal. That happens every day. The defendant, already a registered sex offender, was never released from jail, so it looks like they're doing a good job of keeping him off the streets. Not to mention the other sex offender that the same prosecutor sent to prison this week, but instead of reporting about that good outcome, WWAY chooses to twist that in order to attack the DA again. That's just shameful. Get real, people. A case got continued. This isn't news. We should be grateful that this man is still in jail until his trial and even more grateful that another sex offender is on his way to prison.

I would like to see WWAY investigate the other counties court systems and see if the same kind of mistakes happen outside of Brunswick county. Also, why does all of the reporting of Brunswick county courts sound like a personal attack and not straight up reporting?

Probably because it is. You think this is reporting? It's a cynical attempt at a ratings grab. If we reported on every mistake that every television news reporter makes every day, we'd have a 24-hour newscast. But that is okay, because television news reporters are human, just like prosecutors.

More mistakes - more cost - more delays - justice is put on hold? I'm trying to make sense of what happened Tuesday in court and how yet another Assistant District Attorney has managed to impede the judicial process. At some point don't we as citizens of Brunswick County have a right to question the integrity of the process and actually get answers?

The fact that there were problems with the indictments and that once re-filed there were six additional charges - doesn't something seem to be wrong with that picture? The ADA stated that the case could have gone on, but Britt's counsel declined to do so and the judge granted a continuance. Why would they agree to go on as scheduled if all parties were aware that there were errors in the indictments? Also interesting is that the state paid for the travel of the victim's family so that they could be present at the court precedings. Since Mr. Britt has a court appointed attorney, I wonder if the State approved funding so that those testifying on his behalf could be present for court? Perhaps I'm just a bit confused about the process. I'm just left wondering exactly when professionalism and integrity to the process is going to return to the Brunswick County District Attorney's office. It should be interesting to see what changes, if any, are made in November. We can only hope that whatever the changes may be that they will truly be to the benefit of all citizens of Brunswick County.

To 'Citizen With Questions', the case could have continued to trial if they had used what is called a Bill of Information, which is like a new warrant or indictment and would have corrected whatever wording was wrong, but would not have had to go through the Grand Jury process. Bills of Information are used in superior courts all the time to allow defendants to plead to charges that are slightly different than what they were originally charged with, so it's a common practice. However, a Defendant must agree before a Bill of Information can be used, and apparently this Defendant chose to exercise his right to have his charges go to a Grand Jury instead of just correcting the wording and going ahead with the trial by using the Bill of Information. The article didn't specifically mention that this is what happened in court, but I don't know of any other way, legally speaking, that the case could have gone forward this week other than by using the Bill of Information.

It is good that someone qualified can provide real answers, so thank you. As you can read, 80% of the posters here "believe" they are attorneys, but would be better off as plumbers.....

From the reports, it seems like the problem was some incorrect wording in the Grand Jury Indictments. I think that continuing the case in order to get that wording corrected is actually ensuring the integrity of the system that 'Citizen With Questions' was talking about. If the case had continued without that problem being recognized and corrected until during or after the trial, it could have resulted in having to try the case again, which would have cost more money and more time and more resources. I would rather have a delay now to make sure everything is right than risk having to spend a lot more to do it all over again later.

I'm not sure who's the dumbest,the DA or the guy who would rather be charged with 6 more counts.

I don't understand why the taxpayers are footing the bill for travel even if it is the victim's family. Why don't they provide their own transportation?

The victim is required to be in court, so the state has to pay for that. The charges were for statutory rape of a minor, so if she's a minor, she would have to have some family to accompany her to court, so they are required to be here too. Not to mention that they are already the victims in this situation. A little girl has been sexually assaulted. Are we really wanting to say as a society that now we're going to make her and her family undergo financial hardship just to bring her rapist to justice? I think we should be doing whatever we can to make it easier for her and her family, and thanking them for being willing to even report these crimes and assist our judicial system in prosecuting them.

Thousands of dollars to transport the victim's family? If the victim is a minor and an adult has to accompany, why should the taxpayers pay for more than just two, the victim and one parent? What are they being transported in, a limousine? Where are they being transported from? Why couldn't a deputy pick them up if necessary? Better still, send the ADA, maybe she could handle that task without messing it up.

WWAY has never actually said how much money was spent on travel. They just said they 'heard' it was in the thousands of dollars. They don't have anything to back those figures up with at all! We certainly won't ever know for sure because they will never actually do any real journalism and check facts like those. We also don't know how many people came down, because WWAY didn't say that either. For all we know, it WAS just the victim and a parent or parents, but previous information said they were from Michigan, and plane tickets for 2 - 3 people can be very expensive. You asked if they were being transported in a limo, but we don't even know if the state actually paid for any rental cars, because WWAY didn't say what the supposed thousands of dollars was for, so they might have rented cars themselves. According to the news last night, the ADA gave a face to face interview to the WWAY reporter (although I don't understand why she would bother with the way WWAY has been on a mission to destroy ADA's in Brunswick County lately), so why didn't he ask her those questions then? Or did he ask her and get answers and WWAY just didn't report them because then the story wouldn't be as good? Those are questions people need to be asking WWAY, not the DA's office. Maybe the public needs a sit down interview with Scott Pickey instead of him needing one with Rex Gore!