Local News

Elderly Victim's Family Asks for Mercy for...

Posted October 17, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

— They say they never intended to kill her and a coroner says she was frightened to death, but a Wake County prosecutor says the teenagers who were there when an elderly woman had a heart attack must pay for her death.

The two teens appeared in court Friday and it appeared to be a tough case for attorneys on both sides. On one hand, there is the indisputable fact that 79-year-old Isabelle Scarboro died after these teenagers broke into her house. On the other, there are two young people with their whole lives ahead of them, charged with murder.

Even the victim's family has asked the court to have mercy on the teens who are charged with a very adult crime.

Travis Roberts, 17, and Samantha Woodleaf, 14, both pleaded guilty to causing Scarboro's death. Police say they broke into her home and cut her hand which, in turn, frightened her, causing her to have a heart attack. Roberts received a sentence of 12-to-15 years in prison. Woodleaf was sentenced to 90 days. Prosecutor Frank Jackson says the victim's family asked the court to have compassion on the defendants.

Both teens cried in the courtroom as they listened to details of the crime. Roberts shook his father's hand before leaving the courtroom. His attorney, George Kelly, says Roberts knows what he did was wrong.

Photographer:Robert Meikle