ADA McEntire dismisses District 29A rape case

MARION — On Monday in District 29A Superior Court in Marion with Judge Marvin Pope presiding, Assistant District Attorney Michelle McEntire dismissed the following charges for defendant Lloyd Roger Crowder, Sr.:

  • Initial Charge: 15 CRS 51342 Statutory Rape / Sex Offense Defendant > 6 years
    Indecent Liberties with a minor
  • 17 CRS 187 Statutory Rape / Sex Offense Defendant > 6 years
    Indecent Liberties with a minor

Crowder had been indicted by Grand Jury: 15 CRS 51342 December, 2016 and
17 CRS 187 April, 2017. It took 3 years to bring this to trial only to have the Assistant District Attorney (ADA) dismiss all charges. McEntire serves as ADA for District Attorney Ted Bell. McEntire writes in her dismissal:

“The State was prepared to go to trial with the above charges on this date. The case was placed first for trial, as it had already been continued from a prior date following pre-trial motions. The victim in the case became reluctant to proceed because of pressure from her family as she is related to the defendant. She expressed this reluctance to the victim-witness coordinator and to the detective, Jason Grindstaff, as she was served with a subpoena and told she had to be in court on June 25. The victim was scheduled to meet with the prosecuting attorney for trial preparation on June 21, 2018, but did not appear for the appointment. Efforts to contact her were unsuccessful. Jason Grindstaff agreed to drive to the victim’s home and pick her up and bring her to the courtroom for trial. When he arrived there this morning, the victim was in deep emotional distress, and she reportedly said to Detective Grindstaff that she could not or would not go because her family hated her. Detective Grindstaff appeared at the McDowell County Courthouse the morning of trial to relate those events to the prosecutor, and expressed his reluctance to dismiss the case. Because of the length of time these charges have been pending, the scheduling of the case for trial during this and a previous court session, and the unwillingness of the victim to attend proceedings, the State cannot delay prosecution further and must dismiss.”

The U.S. and N.C. constitutions specifically guarantee the right to a speedy trial. In a rare ruling in 2008, North Carolina’s second highest court found that the state had violated the constitutional right of a Durham man whose case took nearly five years to come to trial.

The N.C. Court of Appeals in 2008 ruled the man’s rights had been violated and ordered his conviction vacated and all charges dismissed with prejudice. The emotional and personal distress of awaiting trial

In this case the man faced the emotional and personal distress of awaiting trial for 3 years only to have the case with the following outcome:

Statutory Rape / Sex Offense Defendant > 6 years – all counts dismissed
Indecent liberties with a Minor – all counts dismissed

The defense team was prepared for trial on 6/25/2018.

“After three years of waiting for our opportunity, the State – without notice – on the morning of trial dismissed this matter after it had been set by the Superior Court to be the first matter to be heard without further continuance during the previous February, 2018 hearing. Assistant District Attorney McEntire in her explanatory notes to the judge in her dismissal stated clearly that the alleged victim was in deep emotional distress at the thought of trial; while this may have been her state on the morning of June 25th according to Detective Grindstaff. This was plainly not the case at the February hearing when this matter was to have originally been heard, where she was calm and present in the courtroom ready to testify. A review of the discovery provided by the State showed a woman who had given varieties of different statements about what had allegedly happened to her. During the February 26, 2018 hearing in Superior Court the alleged victim was present and ready to testify until she found out that the defense had located and secured a witness who had been contacted prior to trial by the alleged victim and asked by the alleged victim to offer false testimony in trial against the Defendant; that the Defendant had attacked her as well. During that exchange, I, arguing on behalf of my Defendant, noted for the court that this was the solicitation of perjury by the alleged victim. This statement that I made visibly affected the alleged victim, and I believe it was her fear of being confronted by her own falsehoods and the destruction her falsehoods had created in the life of my Defendant that led her to refuse to testify in this matter,” said Krinn Evans, defense attorney.

All charges were dismissed.

David Wheeler for NC Senate District 47