News & Publications
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In police shooting of mentally ill N.C. teen, who do you believe?
January 11, 2014

nbsp; (CNN) -- A man calls 911 saying his family needs help. His wife is scared of their schizophrenic son, armed with a screwdriver. One, then two, then three law enforcement officers -- all from different agencies -- arrive. After the situation calms somewhat, according to the family, a tussle ensues. What happens next? In a case this week out of Boiling Spring Lakes, North Carolina, one officer responded by firing his gun, killing 18-year-old Keith Vidal, who was mentally ill. The teen's furious family soon take their case public, saying there's no justification for Sunday's shooting. Vidal, they say, weighed ...
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Local attorney: High-profile defendants determine white-collar status
December 17, 2013

December 17, 2013 By Caroline Curran   While many people consider white-collar crimes to be financial in nature—often accompanied by a stay in a federal prison—one local defense attorney believes white-collar crimes are defined by the defendant rather than the criminal offense. James Payne, a criminal defense attorney in New Hanover and Brunswick counties, specializes in death penalty cases and white-collar criminal defense, which he said can include charges like driving while impaired. “Typically when you look at white-collar crimes, most often you see folks charged with fraud, money laundering, embezzlement—something ...
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W. James Payne Article Published in NC Lawyers Weekly
December 16, 2013

Why treat business people as if they are drug dealers? By: W. James Payne December 13, 2013 The North Carolina General Assembly wants to treat business men and women, as well as politicians, as if they are drug dealers. Until this year, prosecutors could convene an investigative grand jury only when drug dealing was afoot. But if the General Assembly has its way, investigative grand juries will have license to peer into conduct of business people under the guise of preventing political corruption. House Bill 800 (and companion Senate Bill 565) would dramatically expand the instances in which ...
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Madoff Ex-CFO Accused by Lawyer of Lying in Guilty Plea
December 14, 2013

Targeted Audience' Defense lawyers will seek to discredit DiPascali by shedding light on his history of gauging his deceit “according to his targeted audience,” said W. James Payne, a criminal defense lawyer in Shallotte,North Carolina, who isn’t involved in the case. “The defense will go to great lengths and detail to show what an accomplished liar DiPascali is,” Payne said in an interview. “Getting him to admit that he has told different versions of the truth about this case at different times sets him up to be crossed on how good he ...
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How witness lists become hit lists
October 16, 2013

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- One of those causes of the increased violence in Wilmington is a hit list. As WWAY first reported in June, a witness list prosecutors used to convict a gang member was later used by other gang members as a hit list. Both the Wilmington Police Chief Ralph Evangelous and New Hanover County Sheriff Ed McMahon confirm that. Defense Attorney James Payne said it happens because the prosecution and defense must provide copies of their witness lists and defendants have a right to see them. "The reason that is done is because the jurors ... have to know ahead ...
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Mistrial granted in 2005 Chadbourn triple homicide
October 16, 2013

WHITEVILLE, NC (WWAY) -- A man convicted of a 2005 triple murder in Chadbourn could be given a second trial after the North Carolina Court of Appeals overturned his conviction. In May of 2011 Danny Lamont Thomas was sentenced to four life sentences for two separate Columbus County murders. The North Carolina Court of Appeals ordered that Thomas be given new trials for the November 2005 killings of Anthony Martin, and Dennis and Regina Inman as well as a September 2005 shooting in Whiteville. The Appellate Court ruled that James Payne should have been allowed to replace a juror who admitted ...
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Ex-Madoff Workers Chose Fight for Freedom Over Plea Deal
October 15, 2013

October 15, 2013  W. James Payne interviewed by reporter, Erik Larson of Bloomberg, for the article Ex-Madoff Workers Chose Fight For Freedom Over Plea Deal.  Catch the article below.    Five former employees of Bernard L. Madoff on trial over allegations they aided in his $17 billion fraud probably scrapped plea talks involving harsh prison terms to gamble for total exoneration from a jury, ex-prosecutors said. The U.S. had little reason to offer the group leniency in exchange for testimony against others, since Madoff and his top aides had already pleaded guilty, said Philip ...
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From the Fayetteville Observer: Former Cape Fear region DA Rex Gore pleads to misdemeanor charge, avoids felony prosecution
August 19, 2013

BOLIVIA - Former District Attorney Rex Gore on Monday avoided felony prosecution by pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge of willful neglect to discharge the duties of his office. Gore entered the plea before Superior Court Judge W. Robert Bell. He received a 60-day suspended jail sentence, fined $5,000 plus court costs, placed on 12 months of supervised probation, and had his law license suspended for six months. The supervised probation will be converted to unsupervised once the fine is paid. It was a deal Gore said he could live with. "This resolution is one that I'm agreeable to," Gore ...
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From Fox Wilmington: Former DA pleads guilty, felony charges dismissed
August 19, 2013

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WECT) – Former District Attorney Rex Gore pleaded guilty in court Monday to misdemeanor willful failure to discharge duties. According to his attorney, felony charges against Gore have been dismissed. According to Gore's attorney, the former DA received a suspended sentence of 60 days in jail and 12 months of supervised probation. Once Gore pays a $5,000 fine, the probation will be unsupervised. His law license is suspended for six months. As part of the deal, a felony charge of conspiracy to obtain property by false pretense was dropped. "Mr. Gore's case was a mistaken belief ...
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From StarNewsOnline: A Shallotte teen was arrested early Wednesday and charged in the death of a 4-month-old boy last week
June 05, 2013

A Shallotte teen was arrested early Wednesday and charged in the death of a 4-month-old boy last week. Randy Lee Richards, 19, is being held without bail in the Brunswick County jail on a charge of first-degree murder. Richardson made his first appearance in court Wednesday morning and was assigned an attorney, James Payne. "This is a boy. This is a young man and he is just bewildered and distraught," Payne said about his client. Richardson was arrested at 1:45 a.m. Wednesday, according to Brunswick County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Emily Flax. Flax said 4-month-old Colton Richardson died May ...
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