Nifong to don orange jail jumpsuit

Staff WriterSeptember 7, 2007 

— Mike Nifong, the disbarred former district attorney, is scheduled to report to jail this morning to begin his 24-hour sentence for contempt of court.

It was unclear, though, what a day in the Durham County Detention Facility will be like for Nifong.

Jailers and others in the Durham County Sheriff's Office have been quiet about what's ahead for the prosecutor-turned-inmate.

Judge W. Osmond Smith III, the Superior Court judge assigned to the Duke lacrosse case, found Nifong guilty last week of intentionally lying to the court during his prosecution of the Duke lacrosse case.

Nifong's sentence begins at 9 a.m. today.

First he will be processed and given an orange jumpsuit and soft sandals to wear behind bars, lawyers say.

Then, the lawyers speculate, Nifong, a prosecutor for 30 years, is likely to be placed in some kind of protective custody.

"The reality of the matter is this is extraordinary," said John Fitzpatrick, a defense lawyer in Durham. "They should keep him in a place where basically he's by himself."

But there will be a lot of people outside waiting for him.

A Sheriff's Office spokeswoman issued a plaintive statement late Thursday urging the horde of expected news crews to abide by parking rules outside the jail.

Staff writer Anne Blythe can be reached at 932-8741 or anne.blythe@newsobserver.com.

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