BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) -- The Brunswick County District Attorney's office has been on our radar for the past few weeks, and in particular assistant DA Erin Holden. Holden's courtroom slip-ups have allowed convicted DWI offenders to walk away scot free. That includes Oak Island's fire chief. Tonight, in a story you'll see ONLY ON 3, court insiders speak out about Holden, and even jurors have wondered why Holden has been unprepared in court.
After days of trying to uncover the truth, we found out last month Holden's failure to subpoena a state trooper forced a judge to throw out a DWI charge against Oak Island Fire Chief John House. Last week we found out Holden may have botched another drunk driving case. Now even jurors are providing a courtroom critique of Holden's job performance.
One man, who we'll call Fred, was a juror for a case Holden prosecuted more than a year ago. He says he still can remember how unprepared holden was during the trial.
"We didn't really have a clear picture," he said. "Not as clear as it should have been. It should have been a slam dunk case."
Fred said a DWI case that should have been cut and dry was difficult for a jury to comprehend.
"My impression was she was not prepared, and maybe this was sitting around for a while and she threw it together at the last minute," Fred said. "That was my impression and the impression of the other jurors."
Fred said the deliberations took two days because Holden's witnesses did not appear to be prepared for their testimony.
"I think she should have at least covered with them what she was going to ask them," Fred said. "They seemed kind of surprised with what she asked them. When you cross examine you want to surprise the witness, but when you're doing a direct and it's your witness, you want to have a clear idea of what you're asking them."
Fred said jurors were so upset by the state's presentation of evidence that they felt it necessary to address the situation to the court about the lack of preparation from the prosecutor.
"We also put a note at the end of the verdict," he said. "A note admonishing the prosecutor that they didn't do a very good job of preparing the case."
WWAY spoke with other jurors who saw Holden in court just last week. They also want to remain anonymous, but based on holden's performance last week, the jurors say they were under the impression she was a rookie in the courtroom for the first time.
Brunswick County DA Rex Gore plans to sit down with WWAY to discuss recent trials.