*The following is a story that was received from EUR associate John Hairston, a radio broadcaster and prison reform advocate.
He wrote to inform us of a Black man from North Carolina named Charles McNeair who was railroaded and falsely convicted when he was just 16-year-of age for raping a 57-year-old white woman he was in a relationship with.
His is a tragic story that you need to know about and hopefully, help do something about … like work towards having him freed and paid restitution.
Read on for the full story.
I hope that you have been doing well. As you may recall, I occasionally will focus on prison reform and cases that I believe should be reviewed by those courts that are involved.
I wanted to bring another case to your attention about a gentleman named Charles McNeair.
Mr. McNeair has been sentenced and continues to serve a life sentence in North Carolina. He has been incarcerated for over 41 years for allegedly raping a white woman who was 57 at the time. He was charged and locked up when he was 16 years old.
He was accused of raping a 57-year-old white female who had invited him to her residence. As a 16-year-old black male who was illiterate at the time, he was threatened by his public defender attorney who told him to take the plea deal that he had set up for him, or else he would possibly face the death penalty if he didn’t take the plea deal. The deal was for a life sentence with the possibility of parole. There was no evidence presented beyond her accusation and the plea deal that he believes he was coerced into signing.
While the victim was not harmed, her story differed from what Mr. McNeair indicates. He claims that he met the woman at a local supermarket where he worked bagging groceries. The defendant claims that he went to the woman’s home several times and that they had begun a romantic relationship. On the night of the incident which led to the case against him, he claims that he had gotten drunk and he had fallen asleep at her house where the woman was living with her parents. The woman’s father found him at the house and he called the police indicating that he found him after he had raped his daughter. That was all it took to get this man sent to prison for life in 1982.
Mr. McNeair said that the woman was afraid of her father and she would not admit to their romantic involvement. There was a large age difference and she was also concerned that she might get in trouble for having sex with a minor.
I just recently learned about the case from Mr. Calvin Young, who is a cousin of Mr. McNeair. Unfortunately, the woman as well as her father are now deceased as well as the original attorney.
Mr. McNeair has been turned down for parole earlier, however, he has another opportunity to go before the board later this year. I would like to help get some publicity for his case. I believe that Mr. McNeair has been falsely convicted.
If you would like to reach out to him directly, you may use this contact info:
Mr. Charles McNeair: #0275093
P.O. Box 1977
Lexington, NC 27292
I would like to request your assistance on the case if possible. I am not an attorney. As some of you may or may not know, I work in radio and I advocate for prison reform in the media. Please let me know if this case may be of interest to you or you can refer me to someone who may be able to assist.
I have attached my contact and website information below. Thank you for your consideration. I continue to advocate for prison reform as well as promoting the preservation of African American owned radio and media ownership.
As you may recall, we did an interview on the insight segment on 96.3 FM WHUR in Washington, DC back in June 2018. I was a phone-in guest advocating for the case of Mr. Matthew Charles. He is currently working for Families against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM.ORG) as an advocate for the second chances act.
I also do some writing about the current problems many black-owned stations are having keeping up in an ever-changing media climate.
John Hairston, CEO
Hairston Radio Concepts
San Antonio, TX
We are celebrating the 10th anniversary of my stations. Included is a Facebook link:
https://www.facebook.com/johnldhairston/posts/10222044620370837 FYI about the stations.