Local News

Death Penalty Sought in Attack on Elderly Women

Posted April 7, 2008

— Chatham County prosecutors said Monday they plan to seek the death penalty against a former housekeeper charged in the December beating deaths of two elderly women at an upscale retirement community.

Barbara Turrentine Clark, 41, of Toomer Loop Road in Pittsboro, is charged with two counts of murder and one count each of attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill. The charges stem from a Dec. 5 attack on three elderly women at Galloway Ridge at Fearrington, off U.S. Highway 15/501 north of Pittsboro.

Authorities said Clark attacked Margaret Murta, 92, her roommate Mary Corcoran, 82, and their neighbor, Rebecca Fisher, 77, with pepper spray and a cane-like object during a dispute over money.

Murta and Corcoran died from their injuries. Fisher was seriously injured but recovered.

Defense attorneys had tried to get Clark committed to a mental hospital for treatment, but a judge rejected that move last month.


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  • beachboater Apr 8, 2008

    Not all killers are crazy. Some are just plain mean.

  • Dr. Dataclerk Apr 8, 2008

    Thank-you ninamc65.

  • ninamc65 Apr 8, 2008

    You're right, dataclerk. Jesus is the only one capable of ultimate judgement, and regardless of our feelings, this woman is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Thanks for reminding me!

  • Dr. Dataclerk Apr 8, 2008

    When judgement day comes, Jesus will be the judger. With that said, we should not judge her too harhly because the Lord is also judging us. I know she was greatly wrong in abusing and killing these ladies. But in today's society you cannot take the law into your own hands regardless how you feel. Life in prison without parole would be suitable. Taking her life will not bring the deceased ladies back. Don't matter what you say, it is true. Besides NC has not decided is they will be using the death penalty. Remember their has been questions concerning the death penalty and as of now it is not being used. Even if given the death penalty, the criminal person could set on death row for many years. Remember Blanched Taylor Moore? She is on death row in he middle 70's well and alive. Whether we like it or not criminals has rights too. Its not healthy to keep anger built up in us. My right to comment and you have the same right. No use coming after me. Check thing out yourself. Thanks.

  • ninamc65 Apr 8, 2008

    This woman is a disgusting character!...beating helpless old people to death because they didn't agree with her stealing their money...she deserves the death penalty and more. She doesn't even look sorry... she looks irritated that she got nailed. I urge you, Chatham county! Throw the book at her! I would love to be on the jury that hears this case. Whether she gets the death penalty in this life doesn't even matter, although I'd fully support it for her. She will burn in the lake of fire for all eternity, forever treading water just to keep her head above. I pray that the citizens of Chatham county will have some sense and impose the appropriate sentence. This case truly made me physically sick....I can't begin to think what I would have done to some woman who beat my beloved grandmother to death for no reason except the almighty dollar.

  • Iquana Apr 7, 2008

    The death penalty is on a defacto moratorium right now. Even if convicted she will not face execution under current leadership.

  • durham citizen Apr 7, 2008

    Good for Chatam County, to go for the death penalty. If Durham County only had the same fortitude. We prefer " catch and release".

  • doodad Apr 7, 2008

    I'll be surprised if she gets the death sentence. If she does, it won't be enforced anyway.

  • 3forme Apr 7, 2008

    just release her on the court house steps....

  • whatelseisnew Apr 7, 2008

    Excellent decision; once the verdict comes in; sentence should be carried out the very next day.