05/31/05 — Sisters fight double-murderer's parole

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Sisters fight double-murderer's parole

By Jack Stephens
Published in News on May 31, 2005 1:49 PM

Two sisters whose lives were changed forever 20 years ago when their mother and stepfather were murdered want to make sure the killer remains in prison.

Holly Moore and Tammy Gurley will state their case Monday to the state Post-Release Supervision and Parole Commission in Raleigh.

The offender, their half-brother, Terry W. Weeks, shot and killed Jerry Truman Weeks, his father and the sisters' stepfather, and then shot and killed their mother, Peggy Price Weeks.

District Attorney Branny Vickory, who was prosecuting his first capital murder trial, said that before Mrs. Weeks died, Terry Weeks set fire to the home. She scrambled outside before dying of her wounds.

Weeks was sentenced in 1985 to two consecutive life terms for the murders. He was convicted by a jury of second-degree murder in his father's death and first-degree murder in his stepmother's death. Later the N.C. Court of Appeals merged the sentences into one life term.

After serving 20 years in prison, Weeks now is eligible to be considered for parole every year.

"He should have to serve the sentence imposed on him at trial," Mrs. Moore said Monday. "He should serve a sentence for both murders."

"He killed two people," Mrs. Gurley said. "He needs to spend the rest of his life behind bars and not be a free citizen."

Mrs. Gurley said she and her sister will contest a possible parole every year.

Vickory also backs the sisters' appeal.

"Mr. Weeks' actions were incredibly violent and brutal and inflicted upon those who cared the most about him," he wrote to the parole commission.

Mrs. Moore, now 36, was out of town when the murders occurred in February, 1985.

Her sister, now 42 and the mother of a teenager, had been married three months earlier.

"Tammy called me on the phone and told me that Momma and Jerry had been hurt. She didn't want me to know because I had a four-and-a-half hour drive home, but I found out before I got home that they were deceased."

"Twenty years is a long time," Mrs. Gurley said, "and I feel we have to refresh the peoples' memory."

Mrs. Moore is married now, has three children, works in Mount Olive and lives in Grantham.

"We do have extended families, and that is my highest concern," she said.

"And mine, too," Mrs. Gurley said.

Vickory wrote that both women testified during the trial and now want to move on with their lives without being concerned about Weeks' whereabouts.

Vickory also stated that although Weeks might have adjusted to prison life, that fact does not equate to his being able to adjust to society after two brutal killings.

The two sisters asked those with concerns about Weeks' possible parole to write to the N.C. Post-Release Supervision and Parole Commission at 2020 Yonkers Road, Raleigh, N.C. 27699-4222, or call 1-919-716-3010.