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Man pleads guilty to 1985 Cumberland County double homicide

Posted September 25, 2012

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— A man suspected of killing his brother and sister-in-law more than 25 years ago in Cumberland County pleaded guilty Monday to two counts of first-degree murder, the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office said. 

A judge sentenced Sean Patrick McDuffy, 51, to 20 years in prison for each count of first-degree murder in the deaths of Kelly McDuffy, 24, and Bobbie Michelle McDuffy, 20, who were found dead Feb. 21, 1985, in their home at 437 Squirrel St. in the Bonnie Doone community. 

Both had suffered sharp force trauma to their upper bodies, authorities said. News accounts at the time reported a butcher knife was found in Kelly McDuffy's side. 

Sean McDuffy, who lived with his brother and sister-in-law at the time of their deaths, was the prime suspect early on. A judge ruled there was no probable cause for his arrest in 1986, however, and he was released.

The case remained closed until Bobbie McDuffy's dying father asked investigators to reopen it.

Starting in September 2007, detectives sifted through boxes of evidence, investigative notes and crime scene photos and again narrowed their focus to Sean McDuffy.

Sean McDuffy returned to North Carolina in 2009 after serving 13 years in jail in Georgia for trying to decapitate his girlfriend in an argument. Georgia Department of Correction records show that he was given a 15-year sentence in 1996 for charges that also included cruelty to children.

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  • wdweveryyear Sep 25, 2012

    boney beat me to it, saw the headline and thought the same thing!!!

  • PracticalMagick Sep 25, 2012

    A judge sentenced Sean Patrick McDuffy, 51, to 20 years in prison for each count of first-degree murder in the deaths of Kelly McDuffy, 24, and Bobbie Michelle McDuffy, 20, who were found dead Feb. 21, 1985, in their home at 437 Squirrel St. in the Bonnie Doone community.

    Twenty years each count??? Are you SERIOUS?

  • Scubagirl Sep 25, 2012

    this guy's a real piece of work!too bad he couldn't have been arrested sooner.

  • davidtew2005 Sep 25, 2012

    Nice work Georgia. He attempts to decapitate his girl friend and only gets a 15 yr sentence?? Are you serious??

  • msncdso Sep 25, 2012

    " A judge ruled there was no probable cause for his arrest in 1986, however, and he was released."????

    Who was this judge?

  • ashcash21 Sep 25, 2012

    What was the motive for killing his brother and sister-in-law?

  • Coolbreeze Sep 25, 2012

    Lock him up and throw away the key.

  • bulldoggg03 Sep 25, 2012

    This case should have been reopened when he tried to decapitate his girlfriend.

  • timmystrickland402 Sep 25, 2012

    since the crime was committed in 1989, he is sentenced under the old law, which his time is cut in half and probably get parole in 10 yrs or less

  • Fireflies Rock Sep 25, 2012

    OMG, this is one horrible person. I feel for this victims since then; too bad they couldn't get the charges to stick back in 1985. His father must have been scared of him all those years.

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