Michael Peterson entered a guilty plea on Friday, February 24, 2017. Through an Alford plea in which the notorious fiction writer refused to openly admit to his guilt, Peterson pleaded guilty to a manslaughter charge for killing his wife, Kathleen Hunt Atwater Peterson.
On December 14, 2011, Judge Orlando Hudson ruled that Peterson would get a new trial. Hudson found that testimony from (former) State Bureau of Investigation agent Duane Deaver may have misled the jury in the 2003 trial.
The North Carolina Supreme Court on Friday, November 9, 2007, rejected convicted murderer Michael Peterson's appeal for a new trial.
Justice Edward Brady writing for the court announced, "Because we hold that admission of the evidence seized pursuant to the third search warrant was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt, that the trial court did not err in admitting evidence concerning the death of Elizabeth Ratliff, and that the prosecutor's closing arguments did not amount to reversible error, we affirm the decision of the Court of Appeals."
"For the major issues, this is the end of the line. It's one of the reasons I am so disappointed by it," said Tom Maher, Peterson's attorney.
Jim Hardin said, "For all intents and purposes, this case is over . . . I'm very pleased for Kathleen's family. Now they can close the last chapter of this long book. Waiting for this decision has been very stressful for them."
On September 19, 2006, it was announced that Mike Peterson had lost in the N.C. Court of Appeals.
However, since one of the three judges dissented, Peterson's attorney may now take the appeal to the North Carolina Supreme Court. After that, there is no further place to appeal a conviction.
Read the Supreme Court's Rejection
Court of Appeals Decision