CHAPEL HILL: Armstrong pardoned in 1988 murder of A&T professor - WNCN: News, Weather

Chapel Hill man pardoned in 1988 murder of NC A&T professor

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LaMonte Armstrong was cleared of charges in the death of Ernestine Compton after spending 16.5 years in prison. (Duke University) LaMonte Armstrong was cleared of charges in the death of Ernestine Compton after spending 16.5 years in prison. (Duke University)
RALEIGH, N.C. -

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory pardoned a 63-year-old Chapel Hill man who spent nearly 17 years in prison for a crime he did not commit.

On Monday, McCrory made a personal phone call to LaMonte Burton Armstrong to inform him that his pardon of innocence was granted.

Although no physical evidence ever linked Armstrong to the crime scene, Armstrong was convicted of first degree murder in 1995 for the 1988 slaying of North Carolina A&T professor Ernestine Compton at her Greensboro home.

Armstrong was cleared of the conviction in 2012 after a key witness who implicated him later recanted his testimony, saying he testified against Armstrong in order to collect a Crime Stoppers reward.

McCrory said Armstrong had finished working an overnight shift at a substance abuse treatment center in Chapel Hill and was having breakfast with his son when he called to inform him of the pardon. During the call, Armstrong asked if the governor would play basketball with him, which McCrory accepted.

Armstrong is eligible to file a claim under a North Carolina law that allows compensation of up to $750,000 to persons wrongly convicted of felonies.

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