NC novelist Michael Peterson walks out of NC jail

AP News
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Posted: Dec 15, 2011 8:07 PM
NC novelist Michael Peterson walks out of NC jail

Novelist Michael Peterson has walked out of a North Carolina jail, one day after a judge ordered a new trial in the 2001 death of Peterson's wife.

Peterson posted the $300,000 secured bond set by Judge Orlando Hudson, who ruled that a key prosecution witness misled jurors about the strength of bloodstain evidence.

Speaking to reporters Thursday outside the Durham County jail, Peterson said he'd waited eight years to get a new trial. He thanked Hudson for giving him a chance to vindicate himself and prove his innocence.

Peterson was convicted in 2003 of first-degree murder in the death of Kathleen Peterson, who was found at the bottom of a staircase in the couple's mansion. The 68-year-old Peterson has maintained his wife died in an accidental fall after drinking alcohol and taking Valium.