The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Wednesday October 27th

1st Trial Begins for Edwards

Edwards was arrested last year in connection with three sexual assaults in Chapel Hill and Carrboro.

Dwayne Russell Edwards' trial, which will take place in Orange County District Court, will deal with 49 charges -- 45 of them felonies -- none of which specifically implicate him in the sexual assaults, according to the N.C. Court System Web site.

The charges include 15 felony counts of possession of stolen goods and felony first-degree burglary along with other charges such as breaking and entering and financial card theft.

Edwards was arrested Jan. 9 in Carrboro after being stopped by police in response to an alert to all law enforcement personnel in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro area.

From this arrest, Edwards was connected to the rape of a UNC student that occurred on Hillsborough Street earlier that day and to two other sexual assaults in Carrboro.

The first assault occurred Dec. 23 at the Ridgehaven Townhomes and the second at The Village Apartments on Dec. 26.

Edwards also is being charged with three felony counts of first-degree rape, four felony counts of first-degree sexual offense and various charges such as robbery with a dangerous weapon, burglary and kidnapping -- all stemming from the assaults.

Edwards' trial on these 24 additional charges will be held at Orange County Superior Court in Hillsborough beginning Dec. 10.

Edwards has already served prison time in Jackson County, Ill., for burglary and forgery but was released on parole in August of 1999 after one year of his sentence.

Before his arrest, Edwards was employed by UNC at Student Health Services and the Offices of the University Registrar.

Edwards also was in training to work at Davis Library.

At the time of his arrest, the University did not require background checks on all new hires. Earlier this year, UNC officials began to require background checks be conducted on all temporary employees before they are hired.

The City Editor can be reached

at citydesk@unc.edu.

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