Boone, N.C. — It was just a phone, a lowly iPhone 4.
Yet a dispute over the device has one man serving five to seven years in state prison, his ex-wife accused of kidnapping conspiracy and sparked a mistrial this month after the discovery of hundreds of thousands of messages on it exchanged by teenagers.
Along the way, there have been allegations of a sleepy juror, two alternates enjoying luncheon beers across from the courthouse and a soft-hearted law-enforcement supervisor who stepped in to rent a prom tux. A stun gun and a set of black handcuffs round out the inventory of odd items attached to the unusual case.
On one side of the case is Daniel Wolfe, 39, artisan carpenter and furniture maker whose creations decorate many high-end homes in the resort communities surrounding Boone, and his ex-wife Kerry McCaffrey, 38, a grants writer at Appalachian State University. They have been accused of kidnapping Gregory Grubb, 21, a longtime family acquaintance they met through their sons.
On the misty night of May