Wrongly Convicted Database Record


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LaMonte Burton Armstrong





Life Imprisonment

Years Imprisoned:


Year Crime:


Year Convicted:


Year Cleared:


U.S. State or Country of Crime:

North Carolina

County or Region of Crime:


City of Crime:



Judicially Exonerated Released

Summary of Case:

"LaMonte Burton Armstrong was wrongly convicted of murder in 1995 for the July 1988 murder of N.C. A&T University Professor Ernestine Compton in her Greensboro, North Carolina home. Armstrong's prosecution was based on an eyewitness. After his conviction by a jury LaMonte Armstrong was sentenced to life in prison. Armstrong's conviction was vacated in June 2012 on the basis of new evidence that included: 1) The prosecution failed to disclose that the State's eyewitness recanted his testimony and claimed he only testified against Armstrong because he was threatened by Greensboro PD detectives he didn't testify; and, 2) Crime scene palm print excluded Armstrong, while matching a man who died in a car wreck after being imprisoned for a different homicide. Armstrong was released on bail in June 2012. The Guildord County District Attorney's Office filed a motion to dismiss the charges against Armstrong that was granted on March 18, 2013. On December 23, 2013 North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory signed a pardon of Armstrong on the basis of his actual innocence. The pardon makes Armstrong eligible for compensation from the State of North Carolina, and in December 2013 he was awarded $750,000. On March 31, 2015 Armstrong had filed a federal civil rights lawsuit that named as defendants: the City of Greensboro, and former Police Chief Sylvester Daughtry, and now-retired homicide detectives J.F. "Jay" Whitt and David Spagnola. Armstrong alleged the defendants violated his constitutional rights in the investigation and prosecution of his case. On October 22, 2016 LaMonte Armstrong's lawsuit was settled with the City of Greensboro agreeing to pay him $6,420,000."

Conviction Caused By:

"Police and prosecutor misconduct of coercing perjury from the State's key "eyewitness" to lie and falsely identify Armstrong."

Innocence Proved By:

"Armstrong's conviction was vacated in June 2012 on the basis of new evidence, and he was released. On March 18, 2013 the charges were dismissed against Armstrong, and on December 23, 2013 North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory signed a pardon of Armstrong on the basis of his actual innocence."

Defendant Aided By:

Compensation Awarded:

"$7,170,000 total. $750,000 (State of North Carolina, Dec. 2013), $6.42 million (City of Greensboro, NC, Oct. 22, 2016)"

Was Perpetrator Identified?

Age When Imprisoned:


Age When Released:





Information Source 1:

"New Evidence Frees Murder Convict After 17 Years, CBS News, June 30, 2012"

Information Location 1:


Information Source 2:

"Conviction Overturned, LaMonte Armstrong Adjusting After 17 Years, By Jeff Tiberil (staff), WUNC 91.5, August 1, 2012"

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Information Source 3:

"McCrory pardons Chapel Hill man wrongly convicted of murder, By Anne Blythe (staff), News & Observer (Charlotte, NC), December 23, 2013"

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Information Source 4:

"City to pay LaMonte Armstrong $6.42 million for wrongful conviction, News & Record (Greensboro, NC), By Taft Wireback, Oct. 22, 2016"

Information Location 4:


Information Source 5:

"Armstrong v. City of Greensboro, et. al., No. 1:2015cv00282 (USDC NC Middle Dist.) (42 USC 1983 lawsuit)"

Information Location 5:

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Innocents Database Created and Maintained by Hans Sherrer innocents@forejustice.org

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