Saturday, June 22, 2024

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Special provisions undertaken for sheriff’s daughter’s trial


Alamance County court officials have brought in outside prosecutors and a special superior court judge to try the case of Emily Jean Robinson, who is the daughter of Alamance County’s sheriff (see related story this edition).

Those moves appear to be aimed at avoiding a conflict of interest, or the appearance of one, for Alamance County’s two superior court judges, Tom Lambeth, Jr. and Andrew Hanford, as well as Alamance County district attorney Sean Boone, given their close working relationships with the sheriff.

Robinson’s case is being prosecuted by Lisa Marie Coltrain and Jordan Matthew Ford of the North Carolina Conference of District Attorneys.  Coltrain is a homicide and arson resource prosecutor, according to documents included in Robinson’s court file.  Ford is the chief financial crimes prosecutor for the N.C. Conference of D.A.s, according to the organization’s website.

Prosecutor for the Emily Jean Robinson trial is Lisa Marie Coltrain of the North Carolina Conference of District Attorneys.

Presiding over Robinson’s trial is a special superior court judge, Edwin G. Wilson, Jr.  Wilson was nominated to serve in that role by Governor Roy Cooper early last year to fill a vacancy created by the December 2022 retirement of another special superior court judge, the governor’s office announced at the time.

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Wilson had previously served as the senior resident superior court judge in the judicial district that included Caswell and Rockingham counties but has since been dissolved as part of the state biennial budget that the General Assembly passed in September 2023.

He had also been a partner in the Maddrey Wilson Etringer and Smith law firm in Eden.

Wilson also currently serves as Military Augmentation Response Cadre in the Department of Homeland Security, according to the governor’s office.  He previously served as a law instructor at the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York.

The trial began Monday for Robinson, who is charged with felony death by distribution of a controlled substance that allegedly resulted in the September 2021 fatal overdose of Robert Starner, Jr. of Burlington.

Court officials have told The Alamance News that they expect that the trial will continue through the end of this week and resume Tuesday morning in the superior courtroom upstairs at the Alamance County Historic Court House.  All courts will be closed Monday in observance of Memorial Day.

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