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Durham Man Gets Life Sentence For Death Of 89-Year-Old Neighbor

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DURHAM, N.C. — Gregory Lee will spend the rest of his life in prison after jurors found him guilty of first-degree murder in the slaying of his elderly Durham neighbor.

Lee was charged with killing 89-year-old Lois Cannady. In September 2005, a jury deadlocked on a murder charge and a judge declared a mistrial.

Prosecutors say Lee led three other suspects to Cannady's house to steal her car in June 2002. Cannady, who family members said carried Lee's prom picture in her wallet, was shot to death while on the phone with 911.

Cannady's family is glad the ordeal is over, but is sad for Lee's family.

"His family has lost him for good," said Lois Cannady's son, David Cannady. "Life without parole, it speaks for itself."

For four years, David Cannady had sought justice for those who had a hand in his mother's murder. But the court saw a different side of David Cannady, when he asked Judge Ron Stephens to cut Lee some slack in his punishment.

"You have hate built up in you, and then when it comes right down to the very end, you start doing a little soul searching and it is not what you want," he said.

In 2004, Michael Sullivan, one of the four who allegedly broke into Cannady's house, was found guilty of first-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Lee faced the same sentence if he was convicted.

Two others, Morris and Little Jerome Freeman, pleaded guilty to reduced charges in return for their testimony against Lee and Sullivan.

Lee was also found guilty of first-degree burglary and attempted robbery.

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