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Mike Nifong's Lawyers Say He Didn't Intentionally Break Ethics Rules in Duke Case

The prosecutor who drove the Duke lacrosse rape investigation didn't intentionally break any ethics rules, his attorneys said Wednesday as they argued that part of the state bar complaint that could lead to his disbarment be dismissed.

Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong did make many of the comments deemed by the state bar to be misleading and inflammatory, his attorneys admitted in a 50-page motion that responds to the bar's complaint point-by-point.

But they denied that Nifong intentionally withheld DNA evidence from defense attorneys — the most serious of the ethics charges faced by the veteran prosecutor.

"A lot of people have been rushing to judgment on both the underlying case and this case," said Dudley Witt, one of Nifong's Winston-Salem-based attorneys. "And after you allow someone to have a full hearing, I think you will find that he didn't do anything wrong."