Murder suspects in holding pattern as pending cases delay trials
By Shavonne Potts
A number of things tie up the judicial system and leave people awaiting murder trials for a year or more.
The three people charged with murdering a Salisbury dentist last week likely will be awaiting trial for up to two years, says Rowan District Attorney Bill Kenerly.
“There are 14 pending murder cases at the time this happened,” he said.
Kenerly said realistically, Candice Jo Drye, 23, Christopher Boyd, 21, and Jonathan Barnett, 18, will spend 18 months to two years in jail before their trial.
The three are charged with murdering Dr. James David Boyd, who was strangled at his Pine Tree Road home.
Investigators believe the three went to the dentist’s home with the intent to get money. Dr. Boyd was also under investigation for diverting prescription drugs for illegal use.
Drye, of Mocksville, told authorities she was going to the dentist’s home to obtain prescription narcotics, money, and alcoholic beverages in exchange for sexual favors.
In general, laboratory work that is involved in most murder cases takes about a year for processing, Kenerly said.
Other reasons for the delays are not enough court space, prosecutors and other personnel.
The district attorney has said in the past that the system is stressed. More available funds could provide more courtrooms, more clerks, bailiffs and assistant district attorneys.
“There is overcrowding at every stage of the criminal process,” Kenerly said Thursday.
Many suspects, including the three involved in doctor Boyd’s death, are seeking help from the Indigent Defense Services, a program that provides attorneys for those who cannot afford them.
Those capital defenders who represent the indigent clients are also taxed with heavy caseloads.
Drye was appointed Salisbury Attorney Doug Smith, Boyd was appointed Salisbury attorney James Davis and Barnett will be represented by Mockville’s Lori Dewitt.