- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 17, 2014

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - North Carolina’s chief justice has assigned three judges to hear the innocence case of a 70-year-old man who’s behind bars for the murders of a mother and daughter almost 40 years ago.

Chief Justice Mark Martin on Tuesday assigned judges to hear the case of Joseph Sledge, who was convicted in August 1978 of the murders of Josephine and Aileen Davis of Elizabethtown.

They were killed Sept. 6, 1976, a day after Sledge escaped from a prison camp where he was serving a four-year sentence for larceny.

Earlier this month, the N.C. Innocence Inquiry Commission recommended that a three-judge panel consider Sledge’s innocence claim. Martin appointed Judges Thomas Lock, Anna Mills Wagoner and Kevin Bridges to hear the case in Columbus County.

No date has been set for the hearing.

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