Local News

Man pleads guilty to killing Roanoke Rapids woman, daughter

Posted April 22, 2011 2:44 p.m. EDT
Updated April 22, 2011 3:29 p.m. EDT

— A Roanoke Rapids man pleaded guilty Thursday to fatally stabbing a mother and daughter last year to avoid a possible death sentence.

Tony Maurice Gorham, 29, of 325 U.S. Highway 158, accepted the plea to avoid a possible death sentence. He pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree murder, and two charges of robbery with a dangerous weapon were dismissed as part of a plea deal.

Gorham told investigators that he robbed Maxine McCrary, 92, and Nancy Burgess, 65, of $200 in McCrary's home on May 7 and then stabbed them with a kitchen knife, according to court documents.

He was McCrary's neighbor. Burgess, who lived in Durham and worked as the budget secretary for Carrington Middle School, was visiting her mother for Mother's Day weekend, police said.

Prosecutors had planned to seek the death penalty against Gorham, but Capt. Andy Jackson of the Roanoke Rapids Police Department said several family members of the two women said they didn't want to pursue a death sentence in the case.

Gorham was sentenced to two consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole.

Gorham's girlfriend, Valerie Mayo McGee, 34, still faces a charge of being as an accessory in the case. Police said she helped destroy and conceal evidence of the killings.