Local News

Georgia woman indicted in 2001 Raleigh murder

Posted October 30, 2013 10:08 a.m. EDT

— A Wake County grand jury on Monday indicted a 53-year-old Georgia woman for murder in the 2001 beating death of a 91-year-old Raleigh woman. 

Cathy Lynne Lentini, of Cartersrville, Ga., was arrested Oct. 22 and faces one count of murder in the death of Beulah Dickerson. 

Dickerson was found dead in a bedroom of her west Raleigh home on Oct. 24, 2001. An autopsy determined she died of blunt force trauma. 

Lentini, who was denied bond during her first court appearance Thursday afternoon, used to live near Dickerson, police said, but they have not commented on what led them to her after all these years.

Wake County First Assistant District Attorney Howard Cummings, however, said Thursday that the decision to charge her involves recent police interviews of witnesses.

"You ask them a question, and all of a sudden, they say something, and you go back and look at what you have and say, 'Oh yeah, there's a piece of physical evidence that this witness has talked about, and it's never been talked about before,'" Cummings said.

He declined to say exactly what that piece of evidence is.

Lentini was originally questioned in the case, but investigators never had enough evidence to charge her, according to Lt. Chris Morgan, a retired Raleigh homicide detective who worked the case.

There were also no signs of forced entry into Dickerson's home, and Morgan said that police thought a tire iron found in some bushes that fit the make and model of a car that Lentini drove was the murder weapon.

Robbery, he said, was the likely motive.

Lentini, who was Kathy Piper at the time, was arrested on unrelated charges and spent about six months in prison before being released in 2002.