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AG Cooper responds to questions over SBI agent's employment

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RALEIGH, N.C. -

Agent Mark Isley remains on the job with the State Bureau of Investigation years after a 1993 murder confession he wrote for a mentally handicapped suspect led to the man's false confinement to a psychiatric hospital.

Floyd Brown was sentenced to 14 years, but was recently awarded a $7.85 million settlement from the state after he was found innocent of murder.

Brown, now 49, has the mental capacity of a 7-year-old.

Without that six-page confession, Brown likely would not have been tied to the murder of Katherine Lynch, a retired school teacher in Anson County.

Isley had previously claimed he wrote out word for word what Brown told him, and Brown signed the confession. But Brown's lawyers claimed Brown's mental state made it impossible for him to articulate the confession.

Isley, who leads the bureau's Medicaid Fraud section, could not be reached for comment.

Earlier this week, The Raleigh News & Observer, citing Isley's alleged mishandling of another case and the controversy surrounding this one, wrote an editorial calling on Attorney General Roy Cooper to fire Isley or explain why he wouldn't.

Cooper refused to comment on the case or the agent's future _ until now.

Cooper told WNCN, "We have had to dismiss a number of SBI agents in the past" but he did not say if Isley's employment status is under review.

"That particular case is a personnel matter, and I am not going to comment on it at this time," he said.

He did add, in support of the bureau he oversees, "The State Bureau of Investigation, and the State Crime Lab, are doing an excellent job in making sure they apprehend criminals and do justice."

 

Jonathan Carlson

Jonathan is an investigative reporter and anchor with over a decade of experience. Jonathan has broken stories that have resulted in local and statewide change. Contact our Investigative Team anytime HERE. More>>

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