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Man gets life sentence in grandmother’s death

A Lincoln County man accused of bludgeoning his grandmother todeath in 2004 pleaded guilty to murder last week and has beensentenced to life in prison, said District Attorney Dee Bates.

On Tuesday, Antwoine Rancifer pleaded guilty to the murder ofIrene Wilcher Rancifer in the October 2004 incident. The plea cameone day before he was scheduled to go on trial.

“I’m pleased,” Bates said of the plea. “We were going toprosecute him for murder and that’s what he pleaded to.”

Antwoine Rancifer, 26, received no leniency in making the plea,Bates said.

“There really is only one sentence for murder – and that’s lifein prison,” he said. “He becomes eligible for parole at age65.”

Bates complimented Lincoln County Sheriff’s Departmentinvestigators Steve Rushing and Johnny Hall for their work on thecase. He said it was good case work that led to the plea.

“It was a really heinous crime,” Bates said. “He (Rancifer)never really gave a reason for it. He said he was just sittingthere, saw his grandmother and the hammer and thought of killingher.”

The motive – or lack of one – was disclosed in a confessiongiven by Antwoine Rancifer to investigators. After several legalattempts by the defense to suppress the confession, the judge hadruled a jury would be allowed to hear it, Bates said.

Irene Rancifer, 63, was reported missing on Oct. 30, 2004. Shehad been killed at her home earlier in the month and then taken toan area near the old city dump on South Washington Street.

After Brookhaven Police Department officers received someinformation in the case, Antwoine Rancifer was brought in forquestioning. He later led authorities to the body’s location andconfessed to the killing.