Date of Crime
|Wilkes County, NC
Charles Munsey was convicted of the murder of Shirley Weaver. Weaver, 66, was killed during a robbery in her boyfriend's trailer near Wilkesboro. She had been bludgeoned with a frying pan and a shotgun. Munsey was convicted because of the testimony of Timothy Bryan Hall, a jailhouse informant. Prior to trial, Munsey and his attorneys had seen Hall's name on a witness list, but had no idea who he was. When Hall took the stand to testify, Munsey turned to his counsel and said, "I've never seen the man before." Hall testified that he talked to Munsey in late 1993 in the yard at Central Prison. According to Hall, Munsey was wearing an orange jumpsuit and sitting on a picnic table. Munsey told him he surprised Weaver in the house. She slapped him and he crushed her skull with a rifle butt.
Hall said he had no ulterior motive to testify against Munsey. "I found God a few years ago, or a few months ago -- and I -- it's just the right thing to do. No matter, no matter what happens to me, I still feel like in my heart I've done the right thing." Munsey's lawyers poked some holes in Hall's testimony; Central Prison had no orange jumpsuits or picnic tables. However, they failed to win over the jury.
In 1997, Munsey's ex-brother-in-law, Oid Michael Hawkins, confessed to the murder. He also said he had taken a pistol from Weaver's home and placed it in Munsey's home. In 1998, a judge ordered Munsey's prosecutor, Randy Lyon, to turn over files he concealed from Munsey. Six days later, after church services, Lyon went home and hanged himself. His files showed that Hall had never been in Central Prison. Despite the exonerating evidence, the new prosecutor, Tom Horner, fought to keep Munsey imprisoned. Munsey won a new trial but died in prison before it could take place. (News & Observer) [5/08]