Murder conviction should be upheld
To the editor:
Our family deeply appreciates the The Daily News coverage of the courtroom trial that finally brought justice to our family. The North Carolina jury that convicted George Hayden was clearheaded and correct in its unanimous decision to convict.
The evidence, however circumstantial, was overwhelming and the facts of this cold-blooded killing still bring tears to our family. Our mother’s joy at his return from Vietnam was destroyed just weeks later when he was murdered.
Our family is now contending with the highly unusual finding of an appeals court that is trying to overturn the Hayden conviction because it was based on circumstantial evidence. The family of Bill Miller was never given the opportunity to attend the appeals court hearing, while Hayden was allowed to bring support.
The Supreme Court of North Carolina is now reviewing the case. We pray they will rule in favor of the judge and jury that heard this case in full detail and ruled so clearly.
Justice in this case was delayed by 40 years. Is it now to be totally denied? Can higher-ups on the judicial ladder overrule the jury process? Is circumstantial evidence never valid? Is that what this appeals court is saying? If so, a substantial number of people in jail would be released.
This is a dangerous and wrong-headed conclusion that the appeals court reached. We hope the state’s Supreme Court will not let the appeals court ruling stand.
Editor’s note: George Hayden was convicted in 2010 by an Onslow County jury of first-degree murder in the 1972 shooting death of Bill Miller along Western Boulevard. Sharron Aguilar is Miller’s sister.