This week, the district
attorney’s office filed a response to the media outlets’ motion, delineating
the search warrants issued and executed in the months following the homicide.
Police issued and executed warrants to search Faith Hedgepeth’s
Hawthorne at the View apartment, which she shared with her roommate, Karena
Rosario. Another apartment in the complex was also searched.
Search warrants were also filed for Faith Hedgepeth’s and
Rosario’s laptops and Facebook pages, Faith Hedgepeth’s bank account and a 1977
The 911 call for the case was redacted and sealed on Sept. 21,
During the proceedings, Hugh
Stevens , an attorney representing The Daily Tar Heel and other news outlets,
said the public has gone too long without any new information in the case.
“(The District Attorney’s reasoning) is replete with words like,
‘It may do this’ or, ‘It might do that’,” Stevens said. “Eighteen months goes
by and no one’s been charged and no one’s been arrested the public has the
right to assume the trail has gone cold or it’s not being investigated in a
Durham County Assistant
District Attorney Charlene Coggins-Franks said police have made several breaks
in the case recently, and releasing the records now would jeopardize those
“It’s not that it might hinder this investigation, it will hinder
this investigation” Coggins-Franks said. “It is not a cold case.”
But Stevens insisted releasing
the information would better serve the public and might assist law enforcement
in finding Faith Hedgepeth’s killer.
“It seems to me that if the public is going to have confidence in
law enforcement then they’ve got to have at least a modicum of information of
how and by whom this investigation is being pursued,” Stevens said.
During the case, Judge Manning repeatedly held up a manila folder
full of the files related to Hedgepeth’s case.
The autopsy report completed by the North Carolina Medical
Examiner was sealed by Superior Court Judge Carl Fox .
But no one from the District Attorney’s Office could confirm
whether the folder contained the autopsy.
“If the autopsy report is not
here, make a phone call, I want to see that,” Manning said.
Judge Manning said he cannot move forward with making a decision
about the case until he’s read the contents of that manila folder.
“I just want to make it
perfectly clear what my review obligation is,” he said. “The warrants data will
remain sealed pending the work I have to do until I issue an order.”
Connie and Roland Hedgepeth, Faith Hedgepeth’s parents, attended
Wednesday’s hearing and said they were content with how Manning handled the
“(I heard) he was pretty much a letter of the law guy and that he
was very fair,” Roland Hedgepeth said. “And he was very plain spoken and down
to earth. I think that’s probably true.”
Staff Writer Bradley Saacks contributed reporting.