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ONLY ON 3: Trooper says he was never called for Chief House's appeal hearing


BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) -- A lot questions remain unanswered about why a judge dropped a DWI charge against Oak Island's Fire Chief even after he was convicted. New tonight, the state trooper who was at the checkpoint when Fire Chief John House was busted for DWI sat down with WWAY.

Brunswick County District Attorney Rex Gore said the Assistant DA had what he calls a "mix-up" and subpoenaed the wrong trooper. First Sgt. A.E. Morris was the correct trooper, but he says he was never contacted by the DA's office at any point about House's DWI charge.

House was stopped at a checkpoint on Dec. 13, 2008, and charged with DWI. In August 2009, a District Court judge found House guilty of DWI. House appealed the decision to Superior Court. One week ago, the prosecutor realized she had the wrong trooper in court. Gore told us last week the prosecutor called Morris. Gore said Morris said he could not be in court until the afternoon, but Judge Ola Lewis would not delay the case and threw out the charge.

Morris told us today his role in what happened is news to him.

"Nobody ever contacted me personally," Morris said. "They've all got my state cell phone, and they call me whenever they need me most of the time, but obviously this time there was a mix-up somewhere, and they didn't get the proper people in court that they needed. I wasn't subpoenaed, and I wasn't ever contacted, so obviously somebody along the line messed up."

Gore would not go on camera, but he talked with us by phone today. He admits there was a mix-up in regard to preparing for House's trial, but he said he could not answer why the wrong trooper was subpoenaed.

Gore said his office is exploring options to try and appeal Judge Lewis's decision to the Court of Appeals.

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