Crime

Chatham murder suspect in court

Barbara Clark had her first court appearance in Chatham County District Court this afternoon.

She answered Judge Charles Anderson's questions -- if she understood her rights and the charges against her -- with a barely audible whisper and nod of her head

Walking in and out of the courtroom Clark moved slowly and stared at the floor.

District Attorney Jim Woodall told the judge the state was charging Clark with one count of first-degree murder and two counts each of attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury with intent to kill.

Margaret Murta, 92, died Wednesday night at UNC Hospitals. Also injured were Murta's roommate, Mary Cocoran, 82, and neighbor Rebecca Fisher, 77. All three woman suffered blunt head trauma, authorities said.

Her father, Loman Turrentine, and stepmother were in the court. Her father said he had not spoken with his daughter in about a year.

She has two children, he said.

"I can't believe that my daughter could do something like that," Turrentine said. He said when he gets the chance to speak with his daughter he will ask her if she committed the crimes.

Turrentine over and over said he did not believe his daughter could be capable of the charges against her.

"She's been taking care of old people all her life," he said.

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