Last year Blue Moth Creative published a blog post covering the docu-series The Staircase by Jean-Xavier de LeStrade which detailed the long and dramatic prosecution of Michael Peterson, famous author and infamous accused murderer. The docuseries ended with Mr. Peterson in prison and awaiting a retrial, maintaining his innocence throughout. Today, Mr. Peterson took an Alford plea deal after 15 years of court proceedings and 89 months behind bars (just under seven and half years), agreeing that prosecutors had enough evidence to prove his guilt, without actually admitting guilt in the process. This unique and seemingly contradicting plea deal was also seen in the West Memphis Three case. has published a thorough article which highlights details of today’s proceedings, featuring a variety of video coverage which includes post-court interviews with Michael Peterson. – BMC

Mike Peterson walks free as 15-year murder case ends with plea deal
February 24th, 2017

The 73-year-old novelist and one-time Durham mayoral candidate wrote what is likely the final chapter in one of the most notorious and longest-running criminal cases in the Triangle by continuing to maintain his innocence in the Dec. 9, 2001, death of Kathleen Peterson, who was found in a pool of blood at the bottom of a staircase in the couple’s Durham mansion.

Mike Peterson entered an Alford plea to a charge of voluntary manslaughter. Under an Alford plea, a defendant can maintain his or her innocence while acknowledging prosecutors have enough evidence for a conviction.

“The bottom line here is that Mr. Peterson is not guilty. He never was guilty,” defense attorney David Rudolf said.

Courts treat such pleas as guilty pleas, however, and Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson sentenced Peterson to 64 to 86 months in prison and gave him credit for the 89 months he has already spent behind bars.

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