Parole denied for man convicted of killing 2 elderly women

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WILSON, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina’s parole commission says it has denied parole for a Wilson man who had strangled two elderly women in the 1980s.

The state’s Post-Release Supervision and Parole Commission announced the denial for Donald Ray Howard on Thursday.

The Wilson Times reported last month that Howard, 55, is serving a sentence of life in prison plus 50 years after pleading guilty to two counts of second-degree murder. He was convicted in 1987.

Howard was 23 when he admitted in court to the killing of Margaret Donoghue, 71, and Gladys Tasman, 84.

Howard did yard work for Tasman and claimed he strangled her following a dispute over money, according to newspaper reports from the time.

He said he killed Donoghue after he broke into her home, which he thought was empty, and she began screaming. He told police in his confession that he just wanted her to be quiet.

Since being incarcerated, Howard received 19 infractions that ranged from disobeying orders to possessing a weapon.

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