Nifong Pleads Not Guilty to Contempt
Lawyer says ex-DA's statements weren't 'willful, purposeful lies'
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 30, 2007 12:53 PM CDT

(Newser) – In the same Durham courtroom where he once prosecuted accused criminals, Mike Nifong pleaded not guilty today to contempt charges stemming from his handling of the Duke rape case. Nifong’s judge accused the disgraced DA of lying to him last September about a DNA report that could have benefited the accused Duke lacrosse players, the News and Observer reports.

Nifong’s lawyer argued that his client hadn’t fully read the report, which said DNA from unidentified men was found on the alleged victim’s body and clothing. “Although his statements were not literally true, they were not willful, purposeful lies,” he said. But the DNA examiner has testified that he briefed Nifong on the evidence, which the disbarred ex-DA has confirmed.