Problems arise with plea deals in Ruffin bludgeoning case

(Rockingham County, N.C.) — The cases of three men who admitted to beating an elderly Ruffin resident to death with a baseball bat are under review because of problems with a former prosecutor.

The Greensboro News and Record reports that the convictions are in question because of mistakes made by former Rockingham County District Attorney Craig Blitzer, who resigned following a scandal involving payments to his wife for work that was never performed.

Kaleb Garrett Dunithan, 22, and Jacob Arthur Adams, 21, both of Reidsville, and 22-year-old Nichalous Andrew Lowry of Ruffin are serving active prison sentences in the 2014 death of 84-year-old Waverly Bourne.

On Sept. 2, 2014, Bourne walked into the hallway of his Lick Fork Creek Road home in Ruffin and encountered three men wearing dark clothes. One was armed with a baseball bat. The men beat Bourne until he lost consciousness. He died of his injuries four months later.

All three men were offered plea deals in the murder but a prosecutor who has been reviewing the case says mistakes made by Blitzer could negate the agreements.