Housekeeper faces second murder count

The housekeeper accused of fatally bludgeoning her elderly employers appeared in Chatham County District Court this morning on a new murder charge after the second death on Saturday.

Barbara Clark, 41, of Pittsboro, spoke in the same inaudible whisper as she did at her court appearance on the first murder charge last week. She returned to court to be formally informed of the new charge.

Her husband, Howard, a sister, and two other supporters were in court but declined to speak to reporters. Clark's next court appearance scheduled for Dec. 17.

Clark is accused of attacking Margaret Murta, 92, Mary Corcoran, 82, and Rebecca Fisher, 77, on Wednesday morning in the Galloway Ridge apartment shared by Murta and Corcoran.

Murta died Wednesday. Corcoran died Saturday at UNC Hospitals.

Fisher was in stable condition Sunday night, according to a hospital official.

Clark, who worked as a housekeeper for Murta and Corcoran, was arrested and charged with beating all three women. On Thursday she was charged with first-degree murder following Murta's death. This morning District Attorney Jim Woodall filed the second murder charge against her.

In addition to the murder counts, Clark faces charges of attempted murder and of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury in the injuries to Fisher.

On hearing of Corcoran's death, Woodall said, "I was very sad, but I had been following her condition fairly closely. Unfortunately, it was not unexpected."