Police: NC man exonerated after spending 19 years in prison took own life

Darryl Hunt (Source: WXII)

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — City police said Wednesday that Darryl Hunt, the man who served 19 years for a murder that he didn’t commit, appeared to have died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

RELATED: NC man exonerated by DNA after 20 years in prison found dead in Winston-Salem

Hunt’s body was found Sunday inside a vehicle on University Parkway. He was 51 years old. WFMY reported that friends said Hunt had Stage IV cancer.

Police said a handgun was found near Hunt’s body and the door of the vehicle was locked.

“Investigators have searched and forensically processed that vehicle and found no evidence of a struggle having occurred in or near the vehicle,” police said in a news release.

“Physical evidence found inside the vehicle, as well as other investigative findings thus far, is indicative of Darryl Hunt having suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound,” police said.

Authorities are still waiting for the results of an autopsy and said the case is still under investigation.

Hunt was convicted in 1984 for the murder and rape of newspaper copy editor Deborah Sykes and served 19 years in prison.

He was exonerated after DNA evidence led police to Willard Brown, who confessed to the slaying.

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