Elizabeth Stacey Stanton, a waitress from North Carolina, was brutally cut to death in 1990, shocking the quiet community of Manteo. Then, despite the fact that there was little to no proof, her friend Clifton Spencer was jailed for it.
The murder of Stacey Stanton has utterly upended the peaceful town of Manteo, North Carolina. The vast majority of the few thousand residents of this tiny beachside village appear to like Stacey Stanton, who worked as a server in the restaurant.
However, someone fatally shot her and viciously tramped on her body on February 3, 1990.
On November 16, 1961, in New Jersey, Elizabeth Stacey Stanton was born. In 1987, she relocated to Manteo and started working as a waitress at the Duchess of Dare restaurant.
Her apartment on Ananias Dare Street wasn’t far away, so it was puzzling why she didn’t show up for work on February 3, 1990.
During this time, Clifton Spencer resided in Columbia, located across the Alligator River. Without a job, he passed the time on couches, kept up unknown sources of cash, and frequently used cocaine.
On February 2, he and a companion were on their way to Manteo when they met Stanton at the Green Dolphin Pub. Patty Roe, Brandon’s new sweetheart, and he were there. In the end, a furious Stanton walked out.
Spencer noticed Stacey Stanton waving him in from outside her place as he left. She asked him to convince Brandon to come to talk to her, but Brandon refused.
The two drank vodka for a few hours after Spencer returned to her condo. She gave Spencer $35 at that moment so he could buy pebbles, but an hour later, he returned empty-handed.
‘We had been drinking, and after being on the floor for a while, we were in the front room, according to Spencer. She kind of jolted me awake. I also stood up and walked away. I went to my friend Wayne’s house and waited outside until he returned. At that point, we both entered his home and passed out on couches.’ Spencer stated.
At 2 p.m. on that day, a collaborator stopped over to keep a check on Stacey Stanton and found her dead.
Stacey was discovered naked on the apartment floor, clutching her hair, and seriously injured. Stacey had been stabbed 16 times She was stabbed twice in the throat, killing her, and had her chest and privates severed.
According to the results of an autopsy performed on February 4, Stacey was already dead when she was slain.
Together with the State Bureau of Investigations, neighborhood police and the Dare County Sheriff’s Office investigated.
‘The departed endured sharp slicing to the chest and secret parts at the hour of death or expired,’ Greenville County Medical Examiner L.S. Harris stated in the report. ‘This definitely suggests that the assailant was fetishized.’
On Stanton’s body, there was no evidence of an assault. No sign of restricted passage was there, but a ludicrous washcloth was left behind.
Harris learned Stanton passed away on February 3 in the early morning hours. Nancy Austin, a neighbor, heard her return home at one in the morning but didn’t observe any disturbance.
Everyone focused on Spencer since he had a history of breaking the law because the apartment had both Brandon and Spencer’s fingerprints, and the former had been vindicated.
Clifton Spencer Is The Only Suspect – Arrested & Jailed
Spencer arrived at 4:30 a.m., according to Wayne Morris. That would have allowed Clifton Spencer enough time to kill Stacey Stanton in any event, but neither his clothes nor the house where he rested had any signs of blood.
Strangely, the local newspaper, often delivered after 6 a.m., was located just a few feet from Stanton’s corpse.
Only 13 identifiable fingerprints were found at the location. Seven of these were Spencer’s, four were Stanton’s, and just two were Brandon’s, according to an actual evidence report from the SBI from March 1990.
Spencer was found in Columbia on February 4, but the last possibility offered a reasonable justification for Spencer’s lengthy morning stretches on February 3.
According to Spencer, the sheriff’s deputy brought me to this truck and asked me to come to the office when I returned to Columbia the next day. ‘I was completely clueless as to what he required. However, he informed the dispatcher that he had the murder suspect when he called.’
A man believes an old washcloth will present him with an opportunity as part of his daily punishment for the 1990 murder of a waiter in Manteo.
Clifton Eugene Spencer claims that a legal advisor who convinced him that he couldn’t receive a fair preliminary convinced him to argue no challenge to a murder he didn’t commit.
Even the detectives admit that the evidence against Spencer was flimsy and that they had doubts about his guilt from the start.
The washcloth that the executioner had used to clean up after killing Stacey Stanton has been subjected to testing by Spencer’s new attorney.
It was the final evidence from which any relevant information could be gleaned. The results of the experiment failed to identify a further suspect in the case.
Spencer claims he trusts the public data set, but he will need to have faith in the reliability of the outcomes.
Without a legal advisor present, Clifton Spencer maintained his innocence throughout the conversation.
Police mostly became aware of his prior arrests for cocaine possession and chasing an ex-girlfriend with scissors.
After deciding to take the polygraph test, he allegedly froze when asked if he had killed Stanton. On April 2, he was charged with first-degree murder.
At the Dare County town hall on June 11, 1990, NAACP attorney Romallus O. Murphy confronted Spencer and strongly argued that he was not at fault.
Murphy made six pre-preliminary motions, one of which asked for a different venue to create a more agreeable jury pool, but at that point, he started urging Spencer to argue against the challenge.
As Spencer reflected, ‘I let them know I’d sooner pass on than concede to something I didn’t accomplish. If I brought my case to preliminary, the legal advisor warned my mother; I would be doomed to die. A person of color accused of murdering a white lady in a small, Southern community doesn’t have much chance.
On January 9, 1991, Clifton Spencer was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison.
Stacey Stanton Murder Case – Clifton Spencer Released After Further Investigation
Spencer filed a 77-page request on April 24, 1992, claiming that his attorney had forced him to accept the proposed bargain.
Edgar Barnes, a lawyer in Nags Head, was chosen by the court in May. Barnes contacted District Attorney Frank Parrish to request a more thorough investigation because he was confident Spencer was innocent.
He wrote, ‘I sincerely and eventually trust Clifton Spencer to be guiltless and will keep fighting to see that he receives good equity. Please take this case back up for consideration. If nothing else, let me look at the records of every police investigation so that I may be confident that a just decision was made.’
In any case, on April 22, 1993, Judge Gary Trawick ruled that Spencer had purposefully raised no objections and thus should receive the full extent of his punishment.
By June 1995, Barnes had become a District Court judge and was not yet prepared to deal with Spencer, who had given a cell to 35 additional people without any cooling.
Spencer underwent two polygraph tests in October 1995, both of which he passed. In the interim, there was enigmatically no trace of Spencer’s purported polygraph in 1990.
In 1997, someone who had seen Stanton at the pub on February 2 was sure to have compromised Brandon’s better half.
Brandon was apprehended for breaking into the town hall in Dare County and trying to access the vault housing evidence from criminal cases.
When Spencer asked the washcloth for new DNA testing in 2005, his karma started to shift. They didn’t have Spencer’s DNA but failed to catch another suspect.
He was finally delivered in July 2007 with the assistance of the Innocence Project and fresh legal counsel, and he currently works as a transporter.
Even though Stacey Stanton’s horrific murder remains unexplained after more than thirty years, Clifton Spencer’s fruitless labor of equity was finally resolved.