Chance pleads guilty to Moreland's murder

August 14, 2008 9:41:39 PM PDT
Antonio Chance, the man charged with kidnapping and killing Cynthia Moreland two years ago has plead guilty to her murder.

Chance, 31, was on trial for killing wife and mother, Cynthia Moreland. On August 25, prosecutors say Chance kidnapped Moreland from a downtown Raleigh parking deck across the street from Progress Energy, where she worked. Officials arrested Chance after tracking several items, including a ATM card and a cell phone that were stolen from Moreland.

Authorities found her body in Harnett County 10 days later.

A trail of clues led to Chance, leaving Walter Moreland without his wife of 22 years. He says Chance may die before he forgives him.

"I'm so mad and got so much hate in my heart that I can't vent like I want to," Moreland said. "So the only way I can vent is to cry, and, uh, by me crying does not make me (pauses and sobs) does not make me less than a man."

Moreland said he was compassionate and kind hearted man, except when it comes to his wife's murderer.

"I can't say that I forgive you, Antonio Chance, 'cause it would be a lie," he said.

In court Thursday, Wake County prosecutors offered Chance a plea deal that allowed him to escape the death penalty. Chance plead guilty to Moreland's murder and has been sentenced to life in prison without parole.

During his trial, defense attorneys argued that Chance has an IQ below 70, which is the threshold for mental retardation.

They told the judge that their client has been deemed mentally retarded by experts since he was a child and as recently as last week.

State law bans the execution of mentally retarded convicts. It also requires they show they cannot function in society.

"You can't tell me that this person doesn't know right from wrong. And it's all because of a number," Moreland said. "You deem him retarded. I deem him one of Satan's angels."

As Chance was lead off to prison, he to turned to his crying mother.

"Don't cry Momma. Only God can save me now," Chance said.

That's when Chance's sisters rushed across the courtroom to embrace Cynthia Moreland's daughter and husband. For a few minutes they embraced, cried and apologized.

Cynthia Moreland's murder has led to several changes at the Progress Energy parking deck.

Security now patrols each floor every weekday morning. There are also patrols between 4 and 8 p.m. and people can ask for an escort to their car during certain hours.


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