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Thread: Robbery leads to murder charge

  1. #1
    Eurotuner757 is offline Just a bum
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    Robbery leads to murder charge

    Was browsing the net and saw this. What do you guys think? Personally I think he should be held accountable and they should push for maximum penalty.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090129/...cared_to_death

    RALEIGH, N.C. – Larry Whitfield was on foot, his getaway car wrecked, his rookie attempt at robbing a bank thwarted by a set of locked doors, according to detectives. Looking for a place to hide, police say, he found himself inside the home of a frightened old woman.

    There's no evidence Whitfield ever touched 79-year-old Mary Parnell. Authorities say he even told the grandmother of five he didn't want to hurt her, directing her to sit in a chair in her bedroom. But investigators have no doubt he terrified her so much that she died of a heart attack.

    Now Whitfield, a 20-year-old with no prior criminal record, is charged with first-degree murder, a rare defendant accused of literally scaring a person to death.

    "He could've avoided all this by turning himself in, and life would've went on for Mrs. Parnell," said Capt. Calvin Shaw of the Gaston County Police Department, which handled the investigation.

    Under a legal concept known as the felony murder rule, it's not uncommon for prosecutors to bring a murder charge against a defendant who doesn't intentionally harm a victim. The rule exists in some form in every state and lets authorities bring murder charges whenever someone dies during a crime such as burglary, rape, or kidnapping.

    "If you're committing any of those offenses and a person dies, that's first-degree murder," said Locke Bell, Gaston County's district attorney and the prosecutor in Whitfield's case.

    Prosecutors typically use the rule to charge all of the suspects with murder when, say, one of them shoots a teller during a bank robbery. But cases of prosecutors using the felony murder rule to charge a defendant with scaring someone to death are isolated.

    Jurors convicted Willie Ingram in 1982 after 64-year-old Melvin Cooper died from a heart attack in his New York home, caused by what medical experts said was the "emotional upset" of a robbery attempt. Likewise, a Pittsburgh jury convicted Mark Fisher last year in the 2003 murder of 89-year-old Freda Dale, who medical examiners said died in her home from a fear-induced heart attack.

    Whitfield is being held without bail, and his attorney and his family declined to comment. He's charged with several other crimes in addition to murder, and has not entered a plea. He faces life without parole if convicted.

    Authorities said Whitfield and an accomplice, armed with semiautomatic rifles, planned to rob the Fort Financial Credit Union in Gastonia. The bank's staff locked its security doors as the men approached, leaving them stuck outside. They fled but crashed on Interstate 85. Officials said the other man was caught shortly after the crash, while Whitfield ended up at Parnell's doorstep.

    Parnell's husband came home from a funeral and found her around 4:30 p.m., slumped over in the chair. Whitfield, police say, had fled after Mary Parnell went into cardiac arrest and broke into another nearby home. He was arrested while walking in the neighborhood.

    Parnell's autopsy report said she had an enlarged heart, was overweight and had advanced liver disease, kidney disease, hypertension, heart disease and was a diabetic, all of which were decided to be secondary factors. Dr. Steven Dunton, the deputy chief medical examiner in Dekalb County, Ga., said an autopsy finding of natural causes can be upgraded by what he calls an external environmental factor.

    In Parnell's case, doctors listed her cause of death as a heart attack due to "stress during home invasion."

    "There's nothing seen by the pathologist that would show a person died that way," Dunton said. "That's entirely from circumstantial information."

    Legal experts said those circumstances will be crucial to winning a murder conviction. Prosecutors must show what Whitfield did inside Parnell's home caused her death, said Michael Tigar, a Duke University Law School professor.

    "Jurors very often resent what they see as overcharging," Tigar said. "They resent lawyers who claim too much for their cases. In most cases, (lawyers have) stretched the analysis or theory in order to heighten punishment, and are often penalized by the jury because of it."

    Parnell's family — four children, five grandchildren and her husband of 59 years, Herman — support the decision to seek a murder conviction, said the family attorney, H. Monroe Whitesides.

    Whitfield, he said, "breaks into the house that she occupied with her husband for 59 years, and he kidnaps her and moves her to another room and she has a heart attack. And you think that this Whitfield character ... ought to be excused for that?"

  2. #2
    -JB-'s Avatar
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    Re: Robbery leads to murder charge

    Should be charged with manslaughter. He caused her death involuntarily. He should not be charged with 1st degree murder because there is no premeditation involved.
    "Let not him who is houseless pull down the house of another, but let him work diligently and build one for himself, thus by example assuring that his own shall be safe from violence when built."
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    Re: Robbery leads to murder charge

    Quote Originally Posted by -JB- View Post
    Should be charged with manslaughter. He caused her death involuntarily. He should not be charged with 1st degree murder because there is no premeditation involved.
    /thread.
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  4. #4
    Eurotuner757 is offline Just a bum
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    Re: Robbery leads to murder charge

    I see why you say its involuntary, but under the circumstances he had a rifle and raided her house and basically had her as a hostage. Even if she had pre-existing medical problems the amount of stress endured in that situation was the most likely cause to trigger the heart attack. Besides he was the dumb ass that tried to rob a bank and couldn't even make it in the door....

  5. #5
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    Re: Robbery leads to murder charge

    Quote Originally Posted by Eurotuner757 View Post
    I see why you say its involuntary, but under the circumstances he had a rifle and raided her house and basically had her as a hostage. Even if she had pre-existing medical problems the amount of stress endured in that situation was the most likely cause to trigger the heart attack. Besides he was the dumb ass that tried to rob a bank and couldn't even make it in the door....
    The bank's staff locked its security doors as the men approached...
    Manslaughter. The jury probably won't find him guilty on murder.
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    Uzi Crooklyn's Avatar
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    Re: Robbery leads to murder charge

    he is young and made a mistake, his intentions were to rob and not kill, with the way the economy is and no jobs available i don't blame the young robin hood. now he should have to pay for the womans death but not the maximum penalty IMO
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  7. #7
    TOOL's Avatar
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    Re: Robbery leads to murder charge

    law says it should be manslaughter

    people with common sense say murder

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    Re: Robbery leads to murder charge

    Quote Originally Posted by Jus_dubin View Post
    he is young and made a mistake, his intentions were to rob and not kill, with the way the economy is and no jobs available i don't blame the young robin hood. now he should have to pay for the womans death but not the maximum penalty IMO
    he brought a weapon with him and you honestly think he had no intentions to use it if he had to?? you would not be saying that if it was your grandmother laying dead.

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    Re: Robbery leads to murder charge

    Quote Originally Posted by Jus_dubin View Post
    he is young and made a mistake, his intentions were to rob and not kill, with the way the economy is and no jobs available i don't blame the young robin hood. now he should have to pay for the womans death but not the maximum penalty IMO
    You know his intentions? Just because he did not plan to kill that woman according to what he said does not mean that his was not ready to kill.

    The man robbed a bank and then invaded someone's home. He is a piece of shit and deserves whatever he gets and more.
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  10. #10
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    Re: Robbery leads to murder charge

    Quote Originally Posted by TOOL View Post
    he brought a weapon with him and you honestly think he had no intentions to use it if he had to?? you would not be saying that if it was your grandmother laying dead.
    You are right. but if it were my grandmother i would not be looking at the big picture. people panic when they put themselves in situations like that to where they could get caught. not saying its any excuse for him doing what he did because its not. it also depends on how remorsefull he is.

    Quote Originally Posted by SpeedJunkie View Post
    You know his intentions? Just because he did not plan to kill that woman according to what he said does not mean that his was not ready to kill.

    The man robbed a bank and then invaded someone's home. He is a piece of shit and deserves whatever he gets and more.
    I mean you don't know his intentions either so it could really go either way

    not justifying anything that he did because i agree with you that it is a horrible situation.

  11. #11
    TOOL's Avatar
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    Re: Robbery leads to murder charge

    HE BROUGHT A GUN WITH HIM!

    done.

  12. #12
    SpeedJunkie's Avatar
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    Re: Robbery leads to murder charge

    Quote Originally Posted by Jus_dubin View Post
    I mean you don't know his intentions either so it could really go either way

    not justifying anything that he did because i agree with you that it is a horrible situation.
    I don't need to know his intentions, I know his actions and he is a piece of shit who does not belong in our society.

    You are siding on that he didn't mean to kill anybody when you don't know that. I am siding with the fact that he committed crimes that are not acceptable in my opinion.

    Using a firearm to commit a felony (using not meaning firing but using it for fear)
    Attempted bank robbery
    Home invasion (I don't care if he was trying to hide, it excuses nothing)
    Holding some hostage

    You really think this piece of shit deserves a second chance? Would you want him to get out and harm someone in your family?

  13. #13
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    Re: Robbery leads to murder charge

    Quote Originally Posted by TOOL View Post
    he brought a weapon with him and you honestly think he had no intentions to use it if he had to?? you would not be saying that if it was your grandmother laying dead.
    Quote Originally Posted by TOOL View Post
    HE BROUGHT A GUN WITH HIM!

    done.
    It's not murder. It's manslaughter. You can not prove premeditation which is the number one case closer in 1st degree murder charges.

    You can carry a gun in your car, get in an accident where you killed someone from the results of the crash and it's still involuntary manslaughter. The report said he told the lady he wasn't here to hurt her. Yeah the dude is a POS for trying to rob a bank, for breaking in to someone's home, and fleeing from the cops but that doesn't make him a murderer.

    That's like someone who is fat and dies because of being fat and the family tries to sue McD's because that's all the fat ass would eat.

    The lady was old, she got scared and died. His actions caused her to die but were involuntary. Which is manslaughter.

    /thread

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    Re: Robbery leads to murder charge

    Quote Originally Posted by SpeedJunkie View Post
    I don't need to know his intentions, I know his actions and he is a piece of shit who does not belong in our society.

    You are siding on that he didn't mean to kill anybody when you don't know that. I am siding with the fact that he committed crimes that are not acceptable in my opinion.

    Using a firearm to commit a felony (using not meaning firing but using it for fear)
    Attempted bank robbery
    Home invasion (I don't care if he was trying to hide, it excuses nothing)
    Holding some hostage

    You really think this piece of shit deserves a second chance? Would you want him to get out and harm someone in your family?
    No he doesn't deserve a 2nd chance, those charges are all correct and manslaughter should be added.

    With those stacked up against him, the POS should rot away in a cell for awhile.

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    Re: Robbery leads to murder charge

    Fuck I dont even know what to think about this. Part of me wants to feel bad for the guy. The other part of me wants to say fuck that, and hang him out to dry.
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