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Deep Gap Man's Murder Under Court Review PDF Print
Written by Steve Frank   
Tuesday, 31 August 2010 07:07

The probe of North Carolina SBI Lab improprieties has the case of a Boone man under review—a 1989 murder from just inside Wilkes County.  The Wilkes Superior Court trial lead to the murder conviction of Roger John Moretz, but it is now one of 225 cases statewide examined in a government-ordered review of the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation's crime lab.

Results of the review by two former assistant directors of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, released earlier this month, showed SBI lab workers misrepresented blood evidence in 230 cases from 1987 to 2003.
The cases include the Wilkes Superior Court decision in which Roger John Moretz of Boone was convicted of involuntary manslaughter on Sept. 20, 1989, in the Dec. 3, 1988, shotgun slaying of Morris Allen Ward of Deep Gap.   Testimony showed Ward had been having an affair with Moretz' 16-year-old wife. Ward was 18 and Moretz 21 when the murder occurred on Briar Creek Road in Wilkes, about a mile from the Watauga County line.   The verdict for Moretz's co-defendant, Angela Miller Moretz, was dismissed without leave to the charge of accessory after the fact of murder on Jan. 2, 1990.
Moretz was sentenced to three years in prison, but was released on Dec. 8, 1990. The report said indications for the presence of blood were detected on items from the crime scene in the Moretz case, but insufficient evidence was observed to allow for conclusive identification of blood on these items. 


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