Murder suspect gets mistrial — claims he had sex with prosecutor

Danny Hembree

The trial of convicted murderer Danny Hembree came to a halt Monday after Hembree alleged he had a sexual relationship with the assistant district attorney. Hembree’s defense attorneys withdrew after the allegations were made, and the judge overseeing the case declared a mistrial.

Hembree was on trial in the second of three murder cases involving Gastonia women he knew. In November he was sentenced to death for murdering Heather Catterton, 17, in 2009.

District Attorney Locke Bell disputed Hembree’s claim against the assistant district attorney, pointing out that Hembree has been jailed since his arrest. “It’s disgusting that this kind of thing can be said here,” Bell told the Observer.

Until Monday’s claims, testimony was under way in the murder case involving 30-year-old Randi Dean Saldana, who also was killed in 2009…

During the Catterton murder trial, Hembree testified that he strangled Saldana in the basement of his mother’s Gastonia home, but said it was an accident after a marathon of sex and crack cocaine use

I guess my only question is Hembree demented and out of touch with reality – or is the assistant prosecutor – or is the judge? Doesn’t seem like any of them are handling this very well.

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