Local News

Death Penalty Sought in Attack on Elderly Women

Posted April 7, 2008 2:57 p.m. EDT
Updated April 7, 2008 3:03 p.m. EDT

— Chatham County prosecutors said Monday they plan to seek the death penalty against a former housekeeper charged in the December beating deaths of two elderly women at an upscale retirement community.

Barbara Turrentine Clark, 41, of Toomer Loop Road in Pittsboro, is charged with 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.

Defense attorneys had tried to get Clark committed to a mental hospital for treatment, but a judge rejected that move last month.