Local News

No Mental Treatment for Housekeeper Charged in Beating Deaths

Posted March 3, 2008 3:45 p.m. EST
Updated March 3, 2008 3:47 p.m. EST

— A judge has refused a request to send housekeeper charged in the December beating deaths of two elderly women at an upscale Chatham County retirement community to a state mental hospital.

Superior Court Judge Donald Stephens ruled against a defense motion for mental treatment for Barbara Turrentine Clark and a prosecution motion for a psychiatric exam.

Clark, 41, of Toomer Loop Road in Pittsboro, has been indicted on two counts of murder and one count each of attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill. The charges stem from a Dec. 5 attack on three elderly women at Galloway Ridge at Fearrington, off U.S. Highway 15/501 north of Pittsboro.

Authorities said Clark attacked Margaret Murta, 92, her roommate Mary Corcoran, 82, and their neighbor, Rebecca Fisher, 77, with pepper spray and a cane-like object during a dispute over money.

Murta and Corcoran died from their injuries. Fisher was seriously injured but recovered.

Chatham County District Attorney Jim Woodall wants a court hearing to determine if there is enough evidence to seek the death penalty in the case.