WJTV News Channel 12 - RALEIGH: Former SBI agent Deaver faces day three of hearing

Former SBI agent Deaver faces day three of hearing

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RALEIGH, N.C. - A former State Bureau of Investigation agent fighting to get his job back faces day three of his hearing Friday before a judge at the Office of Administrative Hearings.

Duane Deaver was fired in 2011 after a review of the SBI crime lab found analysts frequently misstated or falsely reported blood evidence in criminal cases spanning 16 years, ending in 2003.

Deaver's termination letter didn't list the violations, it mentioned three other reasons including a video where Deaver is heard to say, "that's a wrap, baby" to another SBI agent conducting a test. There was also the allegation from the innocence commission that he perjured himself in the case of Greg Taylor.

In 2010, a panel of judges declared Taylor innocent of a murder for which he had served 17 years in prison. Deaver had failed to report the result of blood tests helpful to Taylor.

One of the officials who fired Deaver, Marshall Tucker, testified he didn't think he deliberately lied to the innocence commission.

"The investigation did not support a perjury allegation against Mr. Deaver...I don't believe it was perjury," he said in his testimony Friday morning.

Tucker also testified that it was all three reasons together that contributed to his firing, not the video alone. Tucker said SBI director Greg McLeod did the actual firing, but because Tucker was Deaver's supervisor, he wrote the termination letter.

Deaver's attorneys say he was a scapegoat and has been subject to a witch hunt.

On Wednesday, former SBI director Robin Pendergraft testified that she did not believe the video was an offense worthy of termination.

Deaver's misleading testimony led a judge to void the murder conviction of Michael Peterson. The Peterson case was not one of the three reasons listed for why Deaver was fired.

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