State plans to free killer from prison

Charles Harrison.jpg

Charles Harrison


Staff Writer

Monday, January 1, 2018

The state plans to release a Rocky Man convicted of murdering an elderly woman during a New Year's Eve burglary nearly 25 years ago.

Charles Harrison, 54, was convicted in 1993 of second-degree murder, first-degree burglary, common law robbery and felony breaking and entering. He was sentenced to two consecutive life sentences plus 10 years in prison. He is being considered for parole by state officials.

Harrison broke into the Branch Street apartment of 86-year-old Pearl Medford and strangled her to death during a robbery. He took $200, according to court records.

Six months before killing Medford, Harrison was released from prison due to overcrowding. He was set free after serving two weeks of a two-year prison sentence for breaking and entering, according to archived reports.

Harrison is currently housed at the New Hanover Correctional Center, a minimum security prison in Wilmington.

The N.C. Post-Release Supervision and Parole Commission is planning to release Harrison via the Mutual Agreement Parole Program, a scholastic and vocational program offering parole through a three-way agreement between the commission, the N.C. Division of Prisons and the offender.

Information gathered by parole officials from persons for and against Harrison's parole, as well as the facts of the case, will be considered by the commission in making its decision.

The state’s current sentencing law, Structured Sentencing, eliminates parole for crimes committed on or after Oct. 1, 1994. However, the commission has the responsibility of paroling offenders who were sentenced under previous sentencing guidelines.