Fayetteville family says justice system failed after murder suspect avoids prison

Cumberland County News

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — Kenneth Green was just 34 when he was murdered outside of a friend’s house on May 31, 2010.

“I want my son back and I know I can’t get him back, but I want justice,” Kenneth’s mom Anita Green said. “I’ve been crying so much I lost my voice.”

Kenneth’s wife Denise Green was one of the main suspects in the case.

She took a plea deal this month that suspends prison time if she follows probation guidelines.

“Our family does not have any faith in the justice system anymore,” said LaDonya Green, Kenneth’s sister.

“I waited nine years to live with this, and she walks,” Anita said.

“I certainly understand the Green family’s frustration, we share in their frustration,” said Cumberland County District Attorney Billy West. “This is one of those difficult circumstantial cases.”

West says their case was significantly weakened after a judge suppressed phone records due to the way they were obtained by a request, not a search warrant.

“Those phone records were some of our best evidence,” West said.

West says detectives were following proper procedure back then, but a separate Supreme Court ruling later determined that search warrants were needed for phone records.

“The judge felt that we should not be able to use that evidence because of that court opinion, and that certainly weakened our case significantly.”

He says his office made the difficult decision to offer a plea deal, rather than taking the chance of losing in a trial.

“We’ve done everything we feel like we can do to get justice, and in this case, we didn’t feel like the punishment met the crime, but we did want there to be accountability and punishment,” West said.

Kenneth’s family remembers him as a hard worker, and a loving father and husband.

“He was just a kind, gentle person, and he did not deserve the fate that he was dealt,” Green said.

“He was a family man and I miss him dearly, he was my life,” Anita said.

Denise Green’s attorney says they have no comment.

Anthony Hernandez is the other suspect.

West says money was the motive in this case, and that Hernandez also took a plea deal. He was sentenced to four to six years in prison.

“We feel like we know what happened, but we have to be able to prove what happened, and we made the difficult decision of trying to get two pleas to hold them accountable as oppose to going to trial,’ West said.

“I hope this never happens to any other family again,” Anita said.

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