Cold Case Spotlight: Murder Victim’s Sister ‘Sick to My Stomach’ On Learning How Authorities Caught Wrong Man

Who killed 26-year-old Jacquetta Thomas? She was found beaten to death in Raleigh, North Carolina on Sept. 26, 1991. Greg Taylor, whose truck was stuck in mud about 100 yards away from the body, was convicted almost two years later, but that conviction was overturned in 2010 because of new evidence–and with the support of Thomas’ family. Now there is an unsolved murder in North Carolina.

Law&Crime host Vincent Hill asked Thomas’ sister Yolanda what she would say to the real killer. She said she would ask why this person took Jacquetta’s life.

“We can’t bring her back, but we want to know why,” said Yolanda Thomas. “And that will give us some sort of healing. Never closure, but at least some sort of healing just to know why.”

She never believed Taylor killed her sister, she said. Back then, the only way Greg, who is white, would have been in that part of town was if he was buying drugs, and that meant he must have been with an African-American. Generally speaking, a white person in that area likely would be an undercover agent, and that meant Taylor had to be with someone else.

A three-judge panel determined in 2010 that authorities withheld evidence from the defense, leading to the conviction. Hill and Yolanda discussed the exoneration. Back in 1993, prosecutors argued that Jacquetta’s blood was found on Taylor’s truck. In fact, the final results of the testing showed that this wasn’t the case. But the jury didn’t know that.

“I wasn’t there for the original trial, but because I was able to sit in for the exoneration, I was literally sick to my stomach when [former North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation agent] Duane Deaver got on the stand and started talking about this evidence,” said Yolanda. “And he said it was just their protocol [withholding evidence]. It was what they did, and so he knew that what he sent over to the prosecution wasn’t true.”

Deaver was fired from the SBI in 2011.

Anyone with information on the case is encouraged to call North Carolina Wanted at 1-866-43-WANTED.

[Screengrab via Law&Crime Network]

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