Pastor wrongfully convicted in Winterville robbery files second lawsuit

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – An Eastern Carolina pastor who served 8 years behind bars for robbery before being exonerated has filed a second lawsuit against the town of Winterville.

In 1993, Winterville police charged 19-year-old Darron Carmon with robbing the Fresh Way Convenience store at gunpoint, now renamed Winterville Food Mart.

They said the robber was 6 feet tall. Carmon who is 5-foot-6 says he was nowhere near the store when the alleged robbery happened.

This new suit, which Carmon is seeking to combine with the original, alleges that evidence of Carmon’s innocence was suppressed for years after his conviction.

The suit also names former Winterville Police Department Officer John Ennis as a defendant.

“In 1993, Mr. Ennis was the forensic technician for the WPD. Mr. Ennis responded to the scene of the alleged crime and lifted finger and palm prints,” Carmon’s legal team said in a press release. “These prints were never disclosed to the District Attorney or Mr. Carmon’s defense attorney. In 2021, Mr. Carmon’s post-conviction counsel discovered the prints and had them analyzed by a print examiner who determined that Mr. Carmon was excluded as the source of the prints.”

Carmon’s legal team says that two Winterville police officers who were part of the investigation are blaming each other for the prints not making it to the D.A.

“Officer Donnie Greene, at his deposition in the first civil suit, stated that Mr. Ennis bore responsibility for failing to report to the District Attorney that prints had been collected from the scene. Mr. Ennis, at his deposition, testified that the responsibility for reporting the prints lay with Mr. Greene, who was the officer in charge of the investigation,” Carmon’s legal team said.

The original lawsuit was set to go to trial on December 3rd.

You can read the second filed lawsuit below:

Carmon v. Ennis and Town Filed by WITN