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How Did Freda Black, Prosecutor From ‘The Staircase,’ Die?

Freda Black, most widely known as a prosecutor during Michael Peterson’s 2003 murder trial, didn’t live doing depiction within the approaching dramatic series “The Staircase,” which portrays the situation.

Parker Posey plays Black within the eight-episode Cinemax Max series, which debuts on Thursday. Additionally, it stars Colin Firth, of “The King’s Speech” fame, alongside Toni Collette, Juliette Binoche, and Rosemarie DeWitt. 

While becoming a Durham County prosecutor, Black helped win the 2003 conviction against Michael Peterson, a novelist, for that murder of his wife, Kathleen Peterson, whose bloody and battered body was discovered at the end of the staircase within the New York home she distributed to Michael in 2001. Black delivered the closing arguments that guaranteed the guilty verdict.

While Michael Peterson spent nearly ten years in jail, he was granted a brand new trial this year following a judge determined that the key prosecution witness, former investigator Duane Deaver, provided hard to rely on testimony throughout his trial. Deaver had testified that bloodstain analysis in the scene established that Kathleen Peterson’s injuries were sustained throughout a fatal beating — not from your accidental fall.

Deaver was fired in the New York Condition Bureau of Analysis this year after allegedly supplying false testimony at numerous trials.

In 2017, just several weeks prior to the scheduled retrial, Peterson posted an Alford plea to some reduced control of wrongful death. The plea deal acknowledged there was likely enough evidence to convict him at trial, while still allowing him to keep his innocence. He was sentenced to time offered and it was released.

“The Staircase,” a 2004 docuseries chronicled the situation and Peterson’s efforts to appeal his conviction. The series was updated with new episodes in 2018, which taken the resolution a legal court fight. Black died not lengthy following the 2018 update — which incorporated a few of her courtroom speeches throughout the trial — grew to become a success. 

Black was discovered dead inside her home in Durham throughout a welfare sign in 2018 after family members lost connection with her she was discovered deceased on her behalf family room couch, WNCN reported in 2019.  Her dying wasn’t considered suspicious.

An autopsy report released in 2019 says she died of finish-stage liver disease because of chronic alcoholism. 

She was 57 years of age.

“The floor of the house was cluttered with food, bottles of wine, and trash. There wasn’t any proof of forced entry, thievery, or visible wounds in the scene,” the autopsy report mentioned. “Recent social stressors incorporated financial hardships. The decedent’s past health background was significant for chronic alcoholism and hypertension. However, there were concerns for self-harm because of the text and products in the scene organized the decedent may consider valuable, no toxicologic or any other self-harm reason for dying was detected.”

Black had battled with excessive drinking for several years. She was billed with Drunk driving two times — once this year and when in 2015 — WTVD reported in 2015. Throughout the latter incident, she seemed to be billed with harm to personal property.

She labored as assistant prosecutor for Durham County from 1991 to 2005.

“In accessory for her desire for practicing law, Ms. Black would be a gifted music performer and shared her talents as organist, pianist, soloist and church choir member in lots of places of worship throughout her existence,” her obituary mentioned.

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Written by Stephanie Green

I am dreamer and book reader.

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