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Prosecutor Featured In 'The Staircase' Series Has Died

This photo, taken in 2003, shows then-Assistant District Attorney Freda Black on the left as she sat alongside defense attorney David Rudolf, second from left, defendant Michael Peterson and assistant defense attorney Tom Maher, right, during a hearing at
Sara Davis
/
AP

A prosecutor who tried the infamous 2001 North Carolina killing featured in "The Staircase" documentary series has died.

Freda Black, a former Durham assistant district attorney, was found dead in her home Sunday, according to police.

Durham police spokesman Wil Glenn said the 57-year-old's death doesn't appear suspicious. The body has been sent to the medical examiner.

Black gave closing arguments at the 2003 trial that ended with novelist Michael Peterson convicted of murdering his wife. A judge later ordered a new trial for Peterson, and he entered a special plea in 2017 acknowledging prosecutors had enough evidence to convict him of manslaughter.

The case has received new attention from television viewers after new episodes of the documentary series, originally aired more than a decade ago, were distributed by Netflix.

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