Nancy Burdette Lynch looked terrified before she was stabbed to death earlier this year, the man who pleaded guilty to her slaying said.
Timothy Paul Shafer, 29, of St. Albans, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and a list of other charges Friday.
He faces life in prison.
Prosecutors, though, agreed to recommend that Kanawha County Circuit Court Judge Duke Bloom grant Shafer mercy when he’s sentenced Aug. 22, meaning he could be eligible for parole after 15 years.
Shafer said that, on Jan. 4, he went with Jessica May Wilson, 28, to Lynch’s St. Albans home to rob Lynch of money and prescription pills. Wilson had a knife and Shafer said he had a fake gun “that looked like a real gun.” Wilson previously had gotten prescription pills from Lynch, Shafer said.
Wilson also is charged with first-degree murder in Lynch’s death, but she was found incompetent to stand trial last month.
Shafer told the judge that Wilson asked Lynch, 66, multiple times for the pin number to her debit card. When Wilson didn’t believe the numbers she listed, Shafer said, Wilson told him to turn around.
When he turned back around, he said, Wilson was stabbing Lynch.
“I tried to catch Nancy, but I noticed she was already dead. Her eyes clouded over and she wasn’t moving anymore,” Shafer said, sobbing.
Shafer cried throughout the hearing. His attorney, John Carr, asked Bloom several times to pause the proceedings. At one point, the bailiff brought Shafer a handful of tissues.
“I’d like to apologize to the victim’s family,” Shafer said, turning to face about eight of Lynch’s friends and family members. “I didn’t intend for Nancy to get hurt, and I’m sorry you lost her.”
Two days after the murder, Shafer went back to the house with Megan Marie Hughes, 28.
Shafer said they took prescription pills, a flat-screen TV, jewelry and Lynch’s car. Lynch’s body was still in the house, Shafer said.
Hughes pleaded guilty Wednesday to accessory after the fact to murder and daytime burglary by breaking and entering. Bloom will sentence her Aug. 14.
Shafer also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit robbery, which carries a possible one- to five-year sentence; two counts of nighttime burglary by breaking and entering, one to 15 years; and grand larceny, one to 10 years.
Prosecutors said, as part of the deal, they wouldn’t make a recommendation to Bloom that the sentences run at the same time or consecutively.
Reach Kate White at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-348-1723.