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

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

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

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

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

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

Photographer:Robert Meikle

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