Survivors of N.C. suicide pact face prescription fraud charges

MONROE, N.C. -- Two survivors of a botched suicide pact, charged with murder on Thursday, now face prescription fraud charges, too.

Police on Friday night charged Linda Kinschasa Maples, 27, and Jennifer Ashleigh McCord, 23, with obtaining a controlled substance by fraud or forgery. McCord is charged with eight felony counts and Maples nine.

They are already in Union County, N.C., jail under first-degree murder and felony conspiracy to commit murder charges.

Investigators said they believe the women were addicted to prescription pills and forged prescriptions to get them. The women also went "doctor shopping" -- meaning they visited various doctors in the Charlotte region to get prescriptions, Monroe Police Vice Sergeant T.J. Goforth said.

Murder charges against the two involve the shooting death of Deborah McCord Gibson, 45. Gibson is Jennifer McCord's mother and the third woman in what police called a suicide pact. McCord is charged with attempted first-degree murder.

Police say the three women planned on Wednesday to kill themselves at their home on Oglethorpe Lane in the Savannah Way subdivision off Fowler Secrest Road. But police believe the women couldn't bring themselves to commit suicide and agreed to shoot each other instead.

Police have not released a motive.

Court documents and interviews with investigators and a friend of one of the survivors describe three women with a history of domestic problems and prescription drug abuse.

Maples pleaded guilty Tuesday in Union County Superior Court to forging a prescription for the pain killer Endocet.

All three women were under investigation in a prescription forgery case that involves antidepressants, pain killers and sleeping pills, said Monroe police investigators. Detectives had expected to interview them on Wednesday, according to Monroe Police Chief Debra Duncan. Instead, they shot one another in what police called "a suicide pact gone awry."

Investigators say they believe the women were addicted to prescription pills and forged prescriptions to get them.

According 27, said she has known Maples since they were 9 years old, and they shared an apartment in 2000. Maples has two children, ages 4 and 2, who live with relatives, Elrahi said.

"I can't imagine Linda shooting somebody," Elrahi said. "She's very kind-hearted."

Acquaintances and relatives of McCord and Gibson could not be reached or did not return phone calls.

Gibson did not have criminal charges related to prescription drugs, according to records.

But in a civil case, Gibson's husband, William, accused her of being "a drug addict." He added that he believed she and McCord were "fraudulently forging drug prescriptions."

The accusations were made as the Gibsons separated amid allegations of domestic violence.

911 records show two domestic or disturbance calls made since October 2005 to their home. They had married in August of that year.

Late last month, Deborah Gibson obtained a domestic violence protection order against her husband.

Twenty-one guns belonging to William were confiscated as part of the order.

William Gibson denied all of Deborah's claims, court records show.

On March 13, District Judge Christopher Bragg dismissed the protection order. The judge signed an order favorable to William Gibson. Deborah was ordered to move out of their home by April 22. He also got his guns back.

William Gibson's attorney declined to comment. Deborah Gibson's attorney didn't return a call.

Police said they don't believe William Gibson was involved in the shootings. He did not return a phone message left by the Observer.

Maples and McCord were held without bond in Union County jail Friday. Maples' attorney couldn't be reached. McCord has not been assigned an attorney. Their first court appearance is scheduled for May 8 in Union County District Court.