Judge finds bulk of evidence in Durham murder case may not be admissible in court

Durham County News

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — On Monday, Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson granted a motion to throw out a bulk of evidence in a case of a then-16-year-old boy who is being charged with killing his father in the family’s Durham home.

Seventeen-year-old Alexander Bishop stands accused of killing his father William Bishop at the family’s home on Dover Road in Durham in April of 2018.

As CBS 17 previously reported, Bishop had claimed his father had a dog leash around his neck and an autopsy report found that William Bishop had died from strangulation. Alexander Bishop was the only person home with his father at the time.

Defense attorney Allyn Sharp filed motions, asking the court to throw out most of the evidence in the case as she questioned if officers followed the proper procedures to get search warrants.

Sharp argued investigator Tony Huelsman made misstatements in an affidavit that $460,000 in gold was missing from the home, when the gold had been sold prior to William Bishop’s death and was not missing.

The defense claimed this misstatement allowed the police to improperly search the family’s home.

“He knew if he didn’t write the affidavits that way, there would be no basis for the finding of probable cause,” Sharp said.

The defense also claimed crucial information was omitted from affidavits and that some of the information the investigator obtained was from an unreliable source.

“What’s left in this case by removing those statements is simply a death that’s tragic but not suspicious,” Sharp said.

The assistant district attorney came back to say that the only misstatement is the amount of gold missing – and that the officer had not made any misstatements intentionally. 

In the end, Judge Hudson granted the defense’s motion and this evidence will not be admissible in court.

Another motion asked for the items that were seized from the Bishop family be returned to them and the judge gave a certain amount of time for the state to get those items back.

Last week, the judge denied another motion in this case by the defense to suppress statements Bishop made to first responders on the day his father was found unresponsive.

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