by Lisa Sorg
Despite a tumultuous judicial career, Freda Black received the most votes in the District Court Judge District 14 race (McKown seat) in Durham County. Her total, 6,387, was just 443 more than second-place finisher Doretta Walker. The two will face off in November.
Walker edged Kerry Sutton by just 201 votes. Steven Storch finished fourth with 1,675.
As assistant district attorney, Black was fired by former and now-disbarred District Attorney Mike Nifong, but she was also involved in a lower-profile controversy. As the Indy reported in a series of stories from 2007-2008, Black was responsible for successfully prosecuting 14-year-old Erick Daniels, who was wrongfully convicted of burglary in 2001 and sentenced to 10 to 14 years in prison.
However, Black won the case without a shred of incriminating or physical evidence, relying instead on the victim's eyewitness testimony. It was later determined she failed to turn over exculpatory evidence; a judge exonerated Daniels in September 2008.
In the other District Court Judge race (Bushfan seat), Pat Evans received 51 percent of the vote. She will face Brian Aus, who won 25 percent of ballots cast, in the fall. Catherine Constantinou came in third with 23 percent of the vote.