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Michael L. Owens

Investigative Producer

Location icon United States of America

I am a news professional specializing in investigative journalism. My strengths include tenacity, a keen understanding of state FOIA law, and computer assisted reporting. My expertise is digging below the surface of a daily story and mining it for the issues many people often miss. In turn, I have produced and written stories that have saved lives, changed laws, impacted elections and won dozens of awards and I am excited about uncovering more government and corporate secrets in my next role.

Portfolio

Investigative stories produced by Michael L. Owens

WSPA.com
05/05/2016
Locked up for being poor in South Carolina jails

GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) - For some very poor defendants an inability to pay bond may mean more time in jail before a trial and a higher chance of pleading guilty. People arrested and charged with a crime are presumed innocent until proven guilty or until they admit the crime in court.

WSPA.com
11/18/2015
Missing the Mark : Upstate Police Not Testing Critical Clues

Critical clues that could crack cold cases may have been ignored or destroyed by Upstate police, evidence in some of the area's most notorious unsolved cases. In some cases, important clues may have been missed because Upstate detectives haven't used readily available technology to scrutinize important evidence.

WSPA.com
09/21/2016
Does race matter: Who gets busted for marijuana?

A 7News Investigation reveals that Upstate police are cracking down hardest on marijuana sales in the area's poorest and blackest neighborhoods. Three years of booking data from the Greenville County Detention Center show that blacks make up nearly two-thirds of arrests in felony cases involving more than an ounce of marijuana - despite the county being mostly white.

WSPA.com
11/16/2016
Unlocked and Loaded : Missing Police Guns in Upstate SC

(WSPA) - The best target for Upstate criminals looking for a gun might be the nearest police cruiser, a 7News investigation has found. Dozens of handguns, shotguns, rifles, and a submachine gun are now in the hands of criminals who saw the badge as an easy mark, police reports show.

WSPA.com
07/23/2015
The Big Gamble: Who Plays the SC Edu Lottery and At What Cost

anvplayer video="559942"] Photojournalist Jason Parker and Producer Mike Owens collaborated on this story On a pay day one Friday in Upstate South Carolina, 7 On Your Side stopped by local convenience stores, looking for people buying lottery tickets. What we found surprised us.

WSPA.com
02/19/2016
Upstate Schools Protect Secret Files Of Former Teachers

Secret files created by school district separation agreements could allow district employees forced out of a job for "performance issues" in one district to find work with a clean slate in a nearby district. Because of district confidentiality policies, there would be no way for a new employer to know about the new hires troubled past.

Investigative stories written by Michael L. Owens

HeraldCourier.com
01/13/2013
Gleason's reach stretched beyond prison walls

The handwritten letter, mostly in cursive script, details the woman's job, the ages of her two children and even noted that her e-mail name was "Blue eyes." It begins: "My name is Robert Gleason ... and you were called to be a jury member for my capital murder case."

Heraldcourier
10/24/2010
Critics: 911 towing referrals being guided by favoritism

If there’s a fender bender, rollover, or car fire in town, the wrecker company most likely to arrive behind police and other rescuers is Marion Frame and Towing. Emergency dispatchers have called on the company and its associates to cover accidents in the town 308 times since 2007, which is slightly more than the combined total of calls fielded by the 17 other current and former wrecker services during that time period.

HeraldCourier.com
08/21/2013
Dozens of emails surface from Virginia AG office to gas company

ABINGDON, Va. - Court records show that an assistant attorney general sent dozens of emails to lawyers representing the two energy companies now being sued in a federal class-action case over natural gas royalties in Southwest Virginia.

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