Inmate in 1985 child death faces new charge

George Richard Fisher

June 7, 2010 9:00:00 PM PDT
A man already serving a life sentence for killing an 8-year-old Chapel Hill girl in 1985 is now charged in another child murder from a year earlier.George Fisher was convicted in the killing and attempted rape of 8-year-old Jean Fewel. Authorities say Fewel was walking to school in Chapel Hill and later found dead hanging from a tree.

Investigators say it was a recent phone call from a tipster offering new information in the case of a murdered 7-year-old in Carrboro that prompted investigators to take another look at an old rape kit.

"They've known there's a rape kit the kit has been processed a couple of times over the years, but we didn't have the technology at that time," Orange County DA Jim Woodall said.

Prosecutors say DNA evidence has now linked Fisher to 7-year-old Carrie Wilkerson's death. The girl was discovered strangled and sexually assaulted in a burning Carrboro mobile home in 1984 -- a year before Fewel's death.

"There was just never enough proof to convict him," Wilkerson's stepmother Norma Shivers said. "I've always known in my heart it was him."

Fisher was in court Tuesday afternoon in Hillsborough facing charges of first-degree kidnapping, rape, murder and arson in Wilkerson's case.

Woodall says he can't comment on whether he'll seek the death penalty, but says he'll talk with Wilkerson's family. Still grieving for their murdered little girl, her stepfather says he's opposed to the death penalty.

"I don't really believe in the death penalty, I think God will do his duty," stepfather Jack Shivers said. "I hope he can find a way to be forgiven."

Wilkerson's biological mother said Tuesday's hearing was like attending her daughter's funeral -- painful, but she's ready for justice.

Fisher will return to court next month.

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