Local News

Man pleads guilty to killing Roanoke Rapids woman, daughter

Posted April 22, 2011

— A Roanoke Rapids man pleaded guilty Thursday to fatally stabbing a mother and daughter last year to avoid a possible death sentence.

Tony Maurice Gorham, 29, of 325 U.S. Highway 158, accepted the plea to avoid a possible death sentence. He pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree murder, and two charges of robbery with a dangerous weapon were dismissed as part of a plea deal.

Gorham told investigators that he robbed Maxine McCrary, 92, and Nancy Burgess, 65, of $200 in McCrary's home on May 7 and then stabbed them with a kitchen knife, according to court documents.

He was McCrary's neighbor. Burgess, who lived in Durham and worked as the budget secretary for Carrington Middle School, was visiting her mother for Mother's Day weekend, police said.

Prosecutors had planned to seek the death penalty against Gorham, but Capt. Andy Jackson of the Roanoke Rapids Police Department said several family members of the two women said they didn't want to pursue a death sentence in the case.

Gorham was sentenced to two consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole.

Gorham's girlfriend, Valerie Mayo McGee, 34, still faces a charge of being as an accessory in the case. Police said she helped destroy and conceal evidence of the killings.


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  • h3ardita11b4 Apr 25, 2011

    why is always a race thing with the north carolinians? jeeze louise - this is the "bible belt" and from the posts none of y'all tend practice what the bible "teaches". if passing judgment, hating your neighbors, etc, etc, is what being a "christian" is about, i'm gonna pass. ;)

  • barbstillkickin Apr 25, 2011

    Why are we wasting our hard earned money to pay for a trial for a guilt person. OLD SAYING IS DO THE CRIME DO THE TIME.

    Maybe it is just me hoping for the good old days. Sure do miss the time when murder was murder and you went to jail no questions ask.

    Maybe we should start letting Texas try all our real criminals. They would be dead in a month not on death row for 20 years.

    I just think if you kill some one you should have to pay. The same way you do the crime should be put back on you and you should die the same way you killed. Just my opinion which does not buy a cup of coffee.

  • RB aka Spirit Warrior Woman Apr 22, 2011

    dwr - "Another count of what the government calls..."black on white" crime. The numbers are climbing."

    Sure, cause if they do this to another person of their race, a group comes after them to pound on their heads.

  • hellorhighwaters Apr 22, 2011

    Obviously he has ruined his life forever. Must he also ruin his girlfriends life along with his?

    Why...would she...with half a brain help him cover up the crime
    and the evidence. He killed two people;
    he's going to prison...for life.
    Think lady, think!

    Love not going to help you in one prison and him in another.
    So now your love of your life his ruined your life also.

    My prayers to the victims family!
    And also to this young girls family and her.
    For him.....his path is written. good luck

  • ginlee00 Apr 22, 2011

    " fatally stabbing a mother and daughter last year to avoid a possible death sentence"
    Misplaced modifier!!!

  • scnewton Apr 22, 2011


  • Eduardo1 Apr 22, 2011

    can a judge NOT accept a plea deal???????????

  • Eduardo1 Apr 22, 2011

    2old2soon....your posting sounds racist to me.

  • Eduardo1 Apr 22, 2011

    some day he will be out on the streets again on some technical glitch!!! or some do gooder will declare amnesty. or they willk claim that his lawyer did not do enough

  • Martian Apr 22, 2011

    "If you tell us you're guilty, we won't murder you. If you don't tell us you're guilty and we have to prove it, we'll murder you." This is tantamount to what the authorities are saying. So the message is that capital punishment is used for nothing more than to "motivate" criminals into saying they committed a crime. Thus, the imposition of CP has nothing to do with the real crime itself, but simply that the criminal does not confess or admit to his crime.