Wilmington man accused of killing his mother could face death penalty - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Wilmington man accused of killing his mother could face death penalty

Reported by Lynda Figueredo - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - Monday, a grand jury indicted a man on 15 charges in connection with the deaths of his mother and her husband.

33-year-old Gerard Edward Altman is accused of murdering his mother, Laura Gallagher, and her husband, James.  The couple was found stabbed and beaten in their home on Westridge Drive in Ogden on Feb. 4, 2009.

Now, District Attorney Ben David says he will push for Rule 24, which is the death penalty.

The indictment states Altman threatened Laura with a knife and a deadly weapon to obtain stolen goods January 28.

It also states Altman had stolen and pawned several of his mother's items worth nearly $2,000, including her wedding band, Olympus digital camera, and assorted jewelry in the days following.

Altman is also facing charges including forgery.  According to search warrants, detectives said they found check boxes scattered throughout the Ogden house

They also found crumbled checks belonging to the Gallaghers at Altman's residence on Confederate Drive.

The indictment reveals Altman cashed 3, $300 checks belonging to Laura Gallagher and cashed them on Feb. 3-5, nearly a week after police believe the murders took place.

Altman was arrested from the Reserves at Forest Hills apartment complex on Darlington Avenue after a resident tipped off authorities.

A search warrant shows detectives collected an additional 80 items from the crime scene in Ogden, including three kitchen knives and a hammer.


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