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ASHEVILLE, NC (AP) — A federal prisoner who authorities say
confessed to a North Carolina death will testify at a hearing on
the possible innocence of two suspects convicted of the crime.

The Asheville Citizen-Times reported Monday
that a court order directs that Robert
Earle Rutherford be brought to Asheville from a federal
penitentiary in Texas for a hearing next month.

A three-judge panel will hear innocence claims by Kenneth
Kagonyera and Robert Wilcoxson. They were convicted of
second-degree murder in the 2000 slaying of Walter Bowman at his
Fairview home.

The North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission determined
there’s enough new evidence that Kagonyera and Wilcoxson didn’t
kill Bowman to hold a hearing. Evidence presented to the commission
in April said Rutherford confessed to involvement in Bowman’s death
and implicated two others.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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