Local News

Convicted Wake killer commits suicide in prison

Posted January 27, 2016 12:44 p.m. EST

Bernard Sanford

— An inmate serving life in prison for a 2005 murder in Wake County apparently killed himself in prison early Wednesday, authorities said.

Bernard Sanford, 72, was found unresponsive in his cell at Maury Correctional Institution in Greene County before 4 a.m., and prison medical staff weren't able to revive him, authorities said.

The Greene County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the death.

Sanford pleaded guilty in November 2006 to killing Nathaniel "Zane" Winters, 45, and shooting Winters' sister-in-law, Karen Winters, on April 17, 2005. Karen Winters survived the shooting. Authorities said they believe Sanford shot the two victims and set a mobile home on Sun Catcher Lane in Raleigh on fire after they asked him to move out.

Sanford also pleaded guilty to molesting several children over a 30-year period. Family members sifting through the debris from the fire found more than 400 pornographic pictures showing underage children engaging in sexual acts. Some of the photos included Sanford, authorities said.