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Winston-Salem woman faces death penalty in connection to fatal stabbing

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Cathy Gwenzell Burrell

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — A Winston-Salem woman facing the death penalty is accused of hitting her 76-year-old neighbor with a statue, stabbing her more than 20 times with a kitchen knife and then striking the woman with a shovel, according to a search warrant filed last month in Forsyth Superior Court, according to the Winston-Salem Journal.

Cathy Gwenzell Burrell, 52, of the 1500 block of Longview Drive is charged with first-degree murder in connection with the death Nov. 4, 2013, of Beatrice Caldwell Rorie. Forsyth County District Attorney Jim O’Neill and Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Martin are prosecuting the case and will be seeking the death penalty against Burrell.

O’Neill said Wednesday that the rules of professional responsibility prohibit him from commenting publicly on any pending case.

Winston-Salem Police Det. J. Morissette executed the search warrant Jan. 22 to obtain hair samples from Burrell, who is in the Forsyth County Jail, to compare with hair strands that police seized from Rorie’s body. Officers had found a number of hair strands in Rorie’s left hand. The search warrant said that Burrell gave a statement to police admitting that she had killed Rorie.

Read full story: The Winston-Salem Journal