RALEIGH, N.C. – Netflix’s showing of the Discovery Channel’s ‘The Staircase’ revisits the N.C. investigation of the murder of Kathleen Peterson. Her body was found at the bottom of a staircase in the Peterson couple’s Durham mansion in 2001.
Husband Michael was convicted of her murder, but was released from prison in 2011 when an appeal ordered a new trial. The judge said the jury received misleading information regarding bloodstain evidence from the NC Crime Lab. ‘The Staircase’ documentary highlights flaws in the justice system.
While a judge did grant a Peterson a new trial for the murder of his wife, he opted for an Alford plea. The plea means that Peterson maintains his innocence while agreeing that prosecutors have the evidence to convict him.
The plea deal calls for Peterson to be convicted of voluntary manslaughter.