Former housekeeper pleads guilty to murder

October 6, 2008 5:25:44 PM PDT
A former housekeeper will spend the rest of her life in prison for beating two elderly women to death and nearly killing a third.

Forty-one-year-old Barbara Clark of Pittsboro is the former housekeeper charged in the December 2007 attack of three women at Galloway Ridge at Fearrington.

She pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree murder Monday. She also pleaded guilty to one count each of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill and obtaining property by false pretense. Clark is sentenced to two life terms.

Chatham County prosecutors had announced they would seek the death penalty in April.

Prosecutors detailed Clark's elaborate plan to kill the women before she ended up beating them to death.

Clark showed little emotion as she admitted to killing two elderly women she cleaned house for. Turns out she wanted to clean out their bank accounts while slowly poisoning them to death.

Prosecutors say she had a hand written detailed plan in her purse when she was arrested in December. It included a list of medications 92-year-old Margaret Murta and 82-year-old Mary Corcoran were allergic to.

She had recipes on how to make drinks with antifreeze, but before she could start the poisoning process the women caught her stealing a $1,000 check.

Instead of calling the police the women called their neighbor 78-year-old Rebecca Fisher over to witness the confrontation.

That's when Clark used one of the women's canes and beat all three, killing Murta, Corcoran and nearly killing Fisher.

First responders say the women were so badly beaten and bloody they thought they had been shot or stabbed.

Clark is on her way to prison to serve two life terms and another 13 years for other charges.


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