Ex-con linked to slain woman by DNA refuses court questions

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DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — An ex-convict linked to a slain woman through DNA testing is refusing to answer questions at a hearing that could free the man sentenced to prison 21 years ago for the killing.

Jermeck Jones was identified in 2011 by DNA tests unavailable at the time of Darryl Howard's original trial. The tests indicate Jones had sex with Doris Washington shortly before her 1991 death.

Jones refused to answer questions Tuesday, citing his constitutional right against incriminating himself.

Howard was convicted in 1995 of strangling Washington and her 13-year-old daughter. He is serving an 80-year prison sentence.

A judge is hearing testimony before deciding whether to give Howard a new trial. Howard also alleges misconduct by police and ex-district attorney Mike Nifong, who was disbarred over the Duke University lacrosse case.

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