Hudson, the judge at the 2003 trial, openly questioned whether Cline’s office could still win a conviction.
“You’ve got no witnesses,” he said. “You’ve got no confession.”
“I don’t think a circumstantial case is a bad case,” she said.
Peterson enlisted in the Marine Corps during the Vietnam War. His novels include the 1990 “A Time of War,” an in-the-trenches look at the war, and a 1995 sequel, “A Bitter Peace.” Peterson was also a regular columnist for the Durham Herald-Sun and mounted an unsuccessful campaign to be the city’s mayor.
Once released, Peterson will have to wear electronic monitoring while awaiting his new trial. He will live at a friend’s home in Durham.
Clayton Peterson, one of Peterson’s sons, said his family is looking forward to a second trial. He offered up his house to help secure his father’s bond.
“We are confident he will be found innocent,” Clayton Peterson said.
Follow AP writer Michael Biesecker at twitter.com/mbieseck