A North Carolina man found carrying the bones of a woman in his backpack has pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter because of fear he would not receive “an unbiased or fair trial.”
Michael Dorman is accused of murdering Lakiea Lacole Boxley, who in 2008 disappeared from her Durham apartment.
Dorman was arrested two years later after a friend notified authorities that the 33-year-old had requested assistance in disposing of the body of a prostitute he’d killed.
According to district attorneys, Dorman said he accidentally shot Boxley, 31, in the head after she refused to have sex with him. However, the gunshot wound did not kill her, so Dorman allegedly strangled her and placed her body in a suitcase, according to WRAL-TV.
When initially questioned by police, Dorman said he’d found Boxley’s remains and planned to use them for sexual gratification.
He was then charged with her murder, but the case was dismissed in 2011 after Boxley’s family cremated her body before Dorman’s defense team was able to gather evidence, a move which led a judge to note there was a conspiracy between several public safety offices to destroy information.
The murder charge was later reinstated by the North Carolina Court of Appeals, and Dorman made a plea deal for voluntary manslaughter.
Using an Alford plea — which does not admit guilt but acknowledges the likelihood that a defendant would be found guilty due to evidence — Dorman received 61 months in prison.
“I am not pleading guilty out of guilt, but out of fear I won’t get an unbiased or fair trial,” Dorman, who has a history of mental problems, said in a written statement.
Watch video on the Dorman case, courtesy of WRAL-TV:
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