District attorney works to get homicide cases to trial faster

by: Andrew Doud Updated:

Loading

MECKLENBURG COUNTY, N.C. - So far this year, homicide detectives in Mecklenburg County have responded to 45 murder scenes.

District Attorney Andrew Murray said homicide cases can sometimes take several years to go to trial, but they're working to speed that process up.

"We're trying to increase the number of trials on a regular basis so that we can close them quicker so that we can make certain that we get closure for the family," Murray said.

To expedite the process, multiple murder trials are scheduled for the same week in Mecklenburg County. There are three going on right now.

So far this year, the DA's office has tried 11 murder cases, and has one more scheduled for December.

Before Murray took office almost two years ago, the average number of cases tried each year was eight.

"You don't want cases to languish for years, because they never get better for prosecutors. Witnesses tend to move away, witnesses’ memories are not a sharp as when the incident first happened," Murray said.

Murray said it also helps to free up prosecutors to handle other violent crime cases and moves guilty prisoners out of Mecklenburg County to state prisons.