Local News

Death penalty sought in Roanoke Rapids double homicide

Posted July 27, 2010 11:22 a.m. EDT
Updated July 27, 2010 6:38 p.m. EDT

— Prosecutors said Tuesday that they plan to seek the death penalty against a Roanoke Rapids man who is charged with fatally stabbing a mother and daughter two months ago.

Tony Maurice Gorham, 28, of 325 U.S. Highway 158, is charged with two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of robbery with a dangerous weapon in the May 7 slayings. He is being held in the Halifax County jail without bond.

Gorham told investigators that he robbed Maxine McCrary, 92, and Nancy Burgess, 65, of $200 in McCrary's home and then stabbed them with a kitchen knife, according to court documents.

He was McCrary's neighbor. Burgess lived in Durham, where she worked as the budget secretary for Carrington Middle School.

Halifax County District Attorney Melissa Pelfrey declined to comment on her decision to seek the death penalty, other than to note that she consulted with the family of the victims.

James McCrary, who lives in Suffolk, Va., said he supports the death penalty, but he declined to comment on Pelfrey's decision to seek it in the deaths of his mother and sister.

Defense attorney Samuel Dixon said it was too early in the case to comment on the impact of it being a capital case.

His girlfriend, Valerie Mayo McGee, 33, has been charged as an accessory in the case for allegedly helping to destroy and conceal evidence. She is out of jail on bond.

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