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The Silk Plant Forest Story

One night in December 1995, Jill Marker was leaving her job as assistant manager of an artificial flower shop called the Silk Plant Forest in Winston-Salem, NC when she was savagely beaten and left for dead. A few months later, police charged a man named Kalvin Michael Smith with the crime and he was convicted by a jury the next year. Smith has always maintained his innocence and several follow-up investigations show that police may have mishandled the case. Smith has already served more than 15 years of a 29-year sentence, but is preparing to appeal his case in district federal court and is asking for the City of Winston-Salem to show support for a new trial. Winston-Salem Journal legal affairs reporter Michael Hewlett joins host Frank Stasio to talk about the latest in this case and what his paper found when it looked into the Silk Plant Forest story.

Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.
Content Director Lindsay Foster Thomas is a multiplatform journalist and audio storyteller with a background in public radio that began right here at WUNC.