Durham County has 60 percent hike in murder defendants


DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Durham County has seen a 60 percent increase in the number of people awaiting murder trials in the past year.

The Herald-Sun of Durham reports (http://bit.ly/2aHxmyG ) there are currently 72 defendants awaiting murder trials in Durham County. There were just 45 people charged with murder at this time last year.

Authorities say 53 of the 72 defendants are in the county jail.

District Attorney Roger Echols says the county had seen a sharp increase in homicides, and many of those killings have involved multiple people arrested.

He says murder trials can take longer to prepare for because of waits to get DNA testing back from the North Carolina Crime Lab.

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Information from: The Herald-Sun, http://www.herald-sun.com

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