Local News

Cary man gets life sentence for killing wife

Posted July 30, 2009

— Jurors took only 40 minutes Thursday to decide to spare the life of a Cary man who killed his wife almost six years ago.

The jury on Tuesday convicted Myron Britt of first-degree murder in the August 2003 shooting death of his wife, Nancy Britt. The Wake County teacher was killed at her sister's Lumberton home.

Myron Britt during murder trial Britt criticizes jury's guilty verdict

After hearing closing arguments Thursday morning and receiving instructions from a judge, jurors quickly decided to sentence Britt to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Britt then told jurors they were wrong to convict him and would have to live with their mistake for the rest of their lives.

"God is our ultimate judge. I do not fear God's judgment. I never have. As people, we make mistakes. The 12 of you have made a grievous mistake in convicting me," he said during his sentencing. "Despite the decision that you came to, I forgive you."

George Crumpler, the jury foreman, said ballistics tests presented during the three-week trial were compelling evidence. Authorities connected a handgun Myron Britt once owned with the bullet that killed his wife.

"We all feel very confident that we reached the right decision," Crumpler said.

In his closing argument, Robeson County District Attorney Johnson Britt urged jurors to sentence Myron Britt to death because he killed his wife over $800,000. Authorities alleged he was in financial straits and wanted to collect on a life insurance policy.

"Myron Britt was swimming in a whirlpool of financial debt. The only avenue, in his mind, to get out of that was to kill his wife," said Johnson Britt, who isn't related to the defendant.

The prosecutor called the life insurance settlement "a mere pittance for the life of anyone."

Defense attorney Sue Berry begged jurors to spare Myron Britt's life, saying she couldn't add much to his children's previous statements.

In emotional testimony Wednesday, Britt's adult children, Brandon and Lauren, testified that they wanted to continue their relationships with their father. They also said their grandmother would be devastated if Myron Britt were sentenced to die.

Berry, who spoke in a whisper during her closing argument as she fought back tears, said jurors should consider "if (a) person's continued presence on Earth is more valuable than death by execution."

"Do justice. Love mercy," she said.

Crumpler said the children's testimony played a major role in their decision for a life sentence.

"Any time you see kids up crying for their dad," he said before choking up.

The trial was the second for Britt in the slaying. A June 2006 trial ended in a mistrial when the jury deadlocked 11-1 in favor of conviction.

Nancy Britt's sister, Judy Ivey, said she is glad the case is finally over and that her former brother-in-law received a life sentence.

"I love the children. My heart just goes out to the children because they need him," Ivey said. "It’s been a long six years, and I just thank the Lord for helping me through it.”


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  • bigseegar Jul 30, 2009

    Brogden is spot on. I too have known Myron Britt for 40+ years. I also knew his wife, and his wife's now disabled sister. From the time Myron was a small boy he was taught by his mother that he was better than everyone else. Why I am not sure because he certainly did not "come from money". His parents were regular everyday working class folks. His ego is as big as his former house in Cary and he continued to show that even today with his "dressing down" of his jury of peers. Ask the lawyers from his first trial. It was rumored that one of them allegedly said that their was not enough money in the world to deal with Myron again. In the end Myron took the life of a very kind woman and the mother of his children and in doing so also tore apart two families. All because of his enormous EGO. Funny how in the end that very EGO was his worse enemy. It's also funny how he will live the rest of his life, behind bars with the worse people society has to offer.

  • fayofbundy Jul 30, 2009

    "Pro-Life and Pro-Abortion is the same movement."

    it's just semantics and goes to show how dishonest the so-called "Pro-Life" movement is - at least for those who also support the death penalty. it should be clear to anyone with an IQ greater than 1 that you cannot simultaneously be "Pro-Life" and pro-death penalty.

    those 2 terms - when used honestly - are mutually exclusive.

  • loudnoises Jul 30, 2009

    I just love it when murderers suddenly "find God" and say we're all wrong. At least no one will have to deal with this guy anymore. See ya.

  • fayofbundy Jul 30, 2009

    this illustrates the problem i have with the death penalty. it's not that i don't think people deserve it - it's just that it's doled out so unfairly.

    this guy kills his wife and gets "life" (what's life these day? 7 years? 10 years). the woman from glaxo poisons her husband and gets a whopping 25 years.

    yet some get death.

    that's why the death penalty is immoral.

  • Brogden Jul 30, 2009

    Well, I tried to post but apparently the auditor of this site thought I was to harsh on Myron Britt. I know him. He is an egotist who fully believes he is better than others. Nancy was not like that at all. To the contrary. I personally like the idea that Myron Britt will spend the rest of his life locked up with people of the "type" he looked down on his entire life. He thought he was to "good" to be broke and killed Nancy to get the insurance so he could live as he "deserved". As luck would have it - HE WILL!

    To KEEPITSIMPLE -- His kids are adults now. They will not "grow up" with their father in prison. They are already grown and from what I can learn fine young people - like their MOM!

  • shortcake53 Jul 30, 2009

    Of course these guys are NEVER guilty... maybe he can get Scott Petersons, Jeffery McDonalds,and Michael Petersons addresses and they can compare notes on how innocent they are. But according to them, its the jury's fault they are locked up for life, certainly no fault of their own. Oh please. Man up and take your punishment.

  • DontAnnoyMe Jul 30, 2009

    "Why do people not understand that THERE IS NO DEATH PENALTY currently in North Carolina!"

    Not exactly true. There has been a "de facto moratorium" since 2006, but it looks like that may end soon. See http://www.indyweek.com/gyrobase/Content?oid=oid%3A394878 for details. Meanwhile, prosecutors can still request the death penalty.

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Jul 30, 2009

    "Pro-Life and Pro-Abortion is the same movement."

    Oops! My bad. This should have read, "Pro-Life and Anti-Abortion is the same movement."

  • keepitsimple Jul 30, 2009

    I understand everyone was concerned because of the children but this man took no regards for the children when he killed their mother for a life insurance policy. I mean it seems that we are saying that this mother's life was not that important to her children and the father. I really think that the only error that the jury made was not to give this evil man the death penalty. And if history repeats itself this man would not die for another 15-20 years so the children would be grown by the time the death sentence was carried out and they would know and understand what this evil man did to their mother.

  • NC Reader Jul 30, 2009

    It seems that all the close family members of Ms. Britt (i.e. her children and one sister -- I don't think her parents are living) wanted his life spared. If I had been on the jury, that would have definitely played a role in my decision. It's not like he's getting off easy. Life in Central Prison with the general population (i.e. murderers and rapists) will be really, really, really terrible.