September 28, 2021

Former Brunswick man guilty of N.C. murders> Mother, 4-year-old son beaten, stabbed to death

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — A man who moved to North Carolina from Brunswick in 1997 has been convicted of fatally stabbing a woman and her 4-year-old son and dumping their bodies along the Blue Ridge Parkway near south Asheville.

Lyle Clinton May, 20, was found guilty Friday of two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Valerie Sue Riddle, 24, of Arden, N.C., and her 4-year-old son, Mark Laird Jr.

May was accused of stabbing Riddle to death as her son watched, and then kicking and stabbing the boy until he died at an Asheville mobile home. Their bodies were found July 9, 1997, along the scenic highway.

Darrell E. Godfrey, 24, is charged with being an accessory.

May’s defense attorneys attempted to show their client was high on drugs the day of the murders. May’s former roommate, Richard Isaacson, testified Thursday that May appeared to be high the day of the slayings, and he said May showed off fresh needle marks on his arm from shooting up a drug.

The prosecution finished its case with testimony by a detective who recounted May’s confession to police.

Detective Judy Romick said May wrote out a statement taking responsibility for the murders. May said in the statement Godfrey didn’t help kill the victims, but helped dump their bodies.

May was charged in June 1997 with being drunk and disruptive and resisting arrest, and tried to damage a police cruiser by banging his head against its window while in custody. He was then committed to Broughton Hospital in Morganton, N.C.

May’s parents, Bernice and Patrick May of Brunswick, have said they knew their son had violent tendencies but that they never expected he would be charged with murder.

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