Jim Hardin Jr. is the son of James Edward “Jim” Hardin Sr. and Carolyn Odell Couch Hardin. He is one of the four children born to his parents. However, he has a tragic family history. He lost his one brother David Odell Hardin and two sisters Margaret Elizabeth Hardin and Carol Lynn Hardin in a tragic house fire in 1971.
His father was born to his paternal grandparents James Everett Hardin and Elizabeth Williams Hardin in Canton, North Carolina. James Sr. graduated from Duke University with a B.S. in Engineering in 1956. His mother Carolyn was also a Duke student. Upon graduation, James Sr. began working with Jim’s maternal grandfather, C. Odell Couch, owner of Couch Furniture Company and Couch Development Company.
Moreover, his father was actively involved in the Durham Merchants Association and the Durham Jaycees. He also had an interest in raising horses and raised thoroughbred horses for his children to ride and enjoy in northern Durham County. His parents then joined the North Carolina Thoroughbred Association.
Jim’s parents were married for 63 years until his father’s death on 22 January 2019 at the age of 85.
Meet Jim Hardin, Michael Peterson Prosecutor
In July 2003, Jim Hardin gave the opening statement of Michael Peterson’s first-degree murder trial. He started by addressing the jury who were present during the trial and told them that “you will have to make some tough decisions about”.
He added, “It is my intention to be very, very brief. I do not intend to describe the minutiae of every single fact that we intend to prove in this case. But I do want to spend enough time with you so that we can talk about enough facts so that I can frame the issues for you, but no more time than that”.
Also, Jim starts by showing the first picture of Kathleen Peterson before her death. He adds, ” you can feel from this photograph — that she is a very genteel, warm person”.
Then Jim gets another photo and shows it to the juror and utters, “Now, on Dec. 9, 2001, at 2:48, when EMS personnel first arrive, they see a very, very different picture. They see something that horrifies them. They see something that one person will say just didn’t make sense. When they enter the house, they see Kathleen Peterson in a completely different way. They see her lying at the bottom of her steps, just as you see in this photograph”.
Then, he picks another photo of Kathleen in the medical examiner’s office and talks about the seven lacerations on her scalp.
After that, Jim talks about the disappearing blow poke which dramatically disappeared from Kathleen’s home which she had received from her sister Candace after marrying her ex-husband Fred Atwater.
Jim claims, “In a very real sense, this case is about pretense and appearances. It’s about things not being as they seem.” He talks about Kathleen being the major financial support in the family. He shared that the motive behind Kathleen’s death was a money problem Michael had as he wasn’t making money as a writer in the years 2000 and 2001.
And, after Kathleen’s death, he was to receive 1.8 million dollars after liquidating his wife’s assets.
Jim talked about the two 9-1-1 calls that Michael made on 9 December 2001.
He concludes the opening statement with, “Kathleen can’t come in here and tell you what happened to her. Ms. Black and I have to speak for her. And we will do that in the presentation of this case. Ultimately, it’s going to be your responsibility to determine what the truth is and to render an appropriate verdict. We contend that once you have heard this case, you will determine the truth, and at that point, Ms. Black and I ask that you return a verdict of guilty to the charge of first-degree murder against Michael Peterson”.
Where Is Jim Hardin Today?
According to the records in the public domain, Jim Hardin and his wife is currently living in Hillsborough, North Carolina.
Jim Hardin Career
Jim Hardin began his career in 1985 as an assistant district attorney for Durham County and was elected district attorney in 1994. In this position, Jim worked with various agencies and individuals to bring innovative specialty courts to Durham including Teen Court, Drug Treatment Court, Community Life Court, and Domestic Violence Court.
Moreover, Jim created the felony case management system for Durham, which was ultimately adopted as the model for the entire state, and prosecuted the high-profile Michael Peterson murder case. For his work, Lawyers Weekly recognized Jim as one of the top ten lawyers of 2003.
In 2005, Governor Mike Easley appointed Jim a special superior court judge. In 2007, he stepped down from the judgeship to fill the Durham district attorney position left vacant by Mike Nifong, who resigned in the wake of the Duke Lacrosse case.
Furthermore, in 2009, Governor Beverly Purdue appointed Jim as a resident superior court judge to replace retiring judge Leon Stanback.
Talking about his education, Jim graduated from Northern High School in the Class of 1975. He attended Duke University and earned a BA degree in Political Science in 1979. Later, he earned his J.D. from Mercer University School of Law in 1983. Whereas, he earned his LLM in Judicial Studies from Duke University School of Law.
For detailed information on his career, click the link.
Jim Hardin Wife
Jim Hardin is married to his wife Lori Thomas Hardin. They tied the knots in 1982. So, they have been married for nearly forty years as of 2022. Now, they share three adult children: Carolyn A. Hardin (husband David Robinson), Maren Hardin, and Jesse Hardin.
Lori hailed from Vienna, Virginia. She attended James Madison High School. She graduated in 1978. Born in September 1960, she is currently 61 years old.
Talking about their children, Carolyn is currently 34 years old. She is currently living in Hillsborough, NC. Marren followed her father’s footsteps and is working as an assistant district attorney in Hillsborough, NC. She is currently 32 years old being born on 14 September 1989.
How Old Is Jim Hardin?
Born in February 1957, Jim Hardin reached 65 years old in 2022.
Is Jim Hardin On Social Media?
Yes, Jim Hardin has a Facebook account.
Who Plays Jim Hardin On HBO Max’s The Staircase?
Actor Cullen Moss is portraying the role of Jim Hardin on HBO Max’s The Staircase.