Andrew Murray, former U.S. attorney for the western district of North Carolina, was sworn in on May 3 to replace former District Attorney Greg Newman, who resigned from his position as chief prosecutor for the counties of Henderson, Polk and Transylvania on April 27 has been serving since 2013.
Murray, a former Charlotte district attorney, resigned as a U.S. attorney on February 28 after new President Biden urged all U.S. attorneys appointed by Trump to resign. First Assistant US Attorney William “Bill” Stetzer is now acting US Attorney.
Murray, a Republican, was appointed by Trump and ratified by the Senate in November 2017. He had been nominated for the post by NC Sens. Richard Burr and Thom Tillis.
Murray, 59, of Charlotte, joins the contested role less than three weeks after the April 12-14 hearing in which Supreme Court Justice Robert Ervin, Newman in “willful misconduct in office” and “conduct who has compromised the administration of justice “implicated this brings the office into disrepute,” under NC General Statute 7A-66, which upholds the NS State Bar’s disciplinary action against Newman on three counts.
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Many so-called “Newman victims” had eagerly awaited the announcement after years of “chronic and unrepentant misconduct” by Newman, including his alleged abuse of crime cases and his refusal to prosecute cases such as rape and child murder.
Hendersonville’s Kim Stepp Shepherd claims Newman botched an investigation into the death of her brother Jim Stepp III in 2019 and refused to convene a grand jury on the case. She has filed a complaint against Newman at the NC State Bar and has an unlawful death lawsuit pending against the estate of the man who shot her brother.
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Karen Chávez is Content Coach / Investigations Editor for the Asheville Citizen Times, part of the USA TODAY Network. Email at [email protected] or follow us on Twitter @KarenChavezACT