Son of woman murdered in Lee County in 2019 opens up after suspect’s guilty plea

Local News

SANFORD, N.C. (WNCN) – Two and a half years after an 80-year-old Sanford woman was murdered, her family learned her killer will spend the rest of his life in prison.

For most of his life Richard Smith, better known as Peanut, talked to his mother several times a day. But for the past two-and-a-half years, he hasn’t heard her voice.

“I miss her dearly every day,” Smith said, choking up. “He didn’t have to do that to my mama.”

Court officials said Kenneth Earl Allen pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the killing of 80-year-old Norma Jean Brown. On March 3, 2019, investigators said he went to her house looking for money to buy drugs, but she wouldn’t give it to him.

“Very well-loved Christian woman, strong belief, strong belief and a pillar of the community,” Smith said of his mother. “And he wants to take her life for dope money.”

Smith said seeing his mother’s killer in court was painful, especially since he’s known Allen and his family a long time.

“I have no ill will toward none of them, just him. I just hope somehow or another I can find it in my heart to forgive him,” he said. “I just don’t see that happening anytime soon.”

He said he had these words for Allen in court: “I hope you live a long and miserable life in prison.”

Although Allen’s punishment hasn’t eased Smith’s pain, he’s grateful to the prosecutors and investigators who worked on the case. He hopes soon he can start to move forward, with the memories of his mother always close to his heart.

“She did not deserve to die this way,” he said. “She was a good old soul, good old soul.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories

Click here for full list of trending stories