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‘The Staircase’ Prosecutor Freda Black Found Dead at 57

Former assistant district attorney was featured on the Netflix series about Michael Peterson’s 2003 murder trial

Freda Black, the former assistant district attorney who was featured in the documentary series “The Staircase,” has died at the age of 57.

According to the News & Observer, Black was found dead in her North Carolina home over the weekend. No cause of death has been made public, though law enforcement told the paper that her death “does not appear to be suspicious at this point.”

A Durham County assistant district attorney from the early 1990s until 2005, Black was part of the team that helped convict Michael Peterson for murder following the 2001 death of his wife.

The Peterson murder trial was publicized by the 2004 French docu-series by filmmaker Jean-Xavier de Lestrade. It was most recently repurposed as a 13-episode series by Netflix last month.

Black ran for Durham County district attorney in 2006 and 2008, but was never elected. She later faced driving under the influence charges on two separate occasions, ultimately losing her driver’s license.