JLF Piedmont Triad Blog

No clemency for Janet Danahey; questions about Mary Ann Holder

Former Gov. Bev Perdue left office on Saturday without granting clemency for Janet Danahey, who 10 years ago pleaded guilty to the murder of four people in a Greensboro apartment fire. Danahey, who set the fire as a prank, received a life sentence as part of the plea. The clemency request now passes to Gov. Pat McCrory, but Danahey attorney Locke Clifford said he’s not sure what the next step is.

Meanwhile the N&R reports on Mary Ann Holder’s estate settlement, which revealed she had written checks totaling $10k to her adult daughter before she killed her two teenage sons and three other children in her care in November 2011:

Detectives found the two checks for daughter Christina Smith Key along with a suicide note at Holder’s rented house on Cocoa Drive near Pleasant Garden, where four of the killings occurred, said Robert “Rocky” Smith, Holder’s former husband and the father of Key and two of Holder’s victims.

The additional checks inject another puzzling element in a tragedy already brimming with unanswered questions. Those who Holder left behind aren’t completely sure where all the money came from, didn’t know about the checks until after her death, don’t know exactly when they were written and aren’t certain what Holder had in mind when she wrote them, Rocky Smith said in recent interviews.

The $10,000 check to her daughter is in addition to the $10,000 check Holder wrote to her boyfriend’s wife “in a gesture apparently meant to settle an impending “alienation of affection” lawsuit linked to the affair.”

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