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Larry Whitfield Scared Mary Parnell to Death

January 30, 2009 at 4:00 pm by  
Mary Parnell and Larry Whitfield

Mary Parnell and Larry Whitfield

Raleigh, NC - Larry Whitfield was a 20-year-old man with no prior criminal record until this week.  Now, due to a string of very bad decisions that led to his scaring 79-year-old Mary Parnell to death, he stands accused of first degree murder.   I’ll tell you what: that’s one hell of a bad week.

I wonder what happened in Larry’s life to make him turn to desperate acts; for desperate is the only way to categorize his behavior.   Larry Whitfield and another man decided to rob a credit union in Gastonia.  Apparently, they didn’t hide their intentions very well, because as they approached the bank with semiautomatic weapons,  someone saw them and the bank’s staff locked the security doors!   FAIL!

So now, the police were on the way, and these two are on the street with weapons.  What did they do?  They jumped into their get-away car, and promptly crashed it.  D’oh!

Whitfield ran, and broke into Mary Parnell’s house.   Mrs. Parnell was so frightened that she went into cardiac arrest and died.   Now Larry Whitfield is facing a first degree murder charge.

There’s no evidence that Mr. Whitfield touched Mrs. Parnell, and he told police that he even assured her that he wasn’t there to hurt her.   Further, her autopsy report revealed that 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 deemed “secondary factors.”   The doctor officially listed her cause of death as “a heart attack due to stress during home invasion.”

So, what do you think?  Clearly, Larry Whitfield was up to no good, and his illegal activity caused Mary Parnell to die.  But he did not do anything deliberate to harm her.  In fact, I’d say that he did nothing that a reasonable person would have reasonable expectation would cause harm, which I believe is the normal standard for manslaughter.

He needs to be prosecuted, but is murder one an appropriate or provable charge??   I’d be inclined to go with manslaughter.  Or maybe 2nd-degree murder.  I’m having a hard time buying a 1st-degree murder charge.

Larry Whitfield, whatever it is you were doing for the first 20 years of your life, you should have stuck with it.  Because now an innocent grandmother of five is dead and it’s on you.

Rest in peace, Mary Parnell.

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  • ecvmanzo

    Oh man, talk about a bad week. I don’t even know what to say in this case. To charge him with murder seems crazy, but to know that had it not have been for him breaking into Ms. Parnell’s home, she would still be alive. He should, however, be charged with something, I just don’t know if murder would be the correct charge.

    Stupid, stupid.

    Rest in Peace Mary Purnell. Start praying Larry Whitfield, because you won the Idiot Award this week.

  • Wolf_of_Mars

    She died during the commission of a felony. Hence, a first-degree murder charge… And home invasion is considered a felony in many states.

  • Janelle

    All those semi-automatic weapons and no bank to rob – what’s a man to do? I mean, you can’t just call it a day and go back home and rethink your priorities – why waste the whole day? How bout a home invasion? Just cause you’re carrying semi-automatic weapons doesn’t mean anyone has to get hurt. Maybe you’ll even get invited to tea. . . . . . . . .

    A first degree murder charge is fine with me.

  • Taz

    Mary’s poor hubby was at a funeral and came home to find her dead in the bedroom, slupmed over in a chair.

    It seems strange to charge him wiith murder but the laws say differently, Besides she would still be alive if not for him busting in her house scarring her to death. This is his first real crime and he sure fucked it up bad. Larry had plenty of opertunitys to just turn himself over, he made the choice to go into Marys house so he should pay for what happened. Beside I would feel a hell of a lot less angry is he had called 911 to report her or even tried to give her CPR, he did none of thoughs things, he ran out of the house after he saw her dieing. Freakin Looser.

  • Bamamomof2girls

    I’m not sure of the first degree charge either but he did run up in that old ladies house with a weapon so he does deserve some punishment. Plus theres the fact he was gonna rob a bank . I dunno I’m conflicted on this one. He does deserve prision but maybe not a first degree murder charge.

  • http://www.myspace.com/aprilamber April

    Angh! Fuck him. He fucked up. He should pay. Who knows how long she would have lived if fucknuts hadn’t of scared her.

  • smokey82

    I dunno. I’m kind of riding the fence on the first degree murder charge. In the very least, charged for manslaughter and for the home invasion, I’d say. (on top of all the other crap!) On the other hand, he robbed Mary from the possibility of having a dignified, peaceful death. I startle very easily, and it’s a horrible feeling.

  • Zibarro

    http://definitions.uslegal.com/f/felony-murder-doctrine/
    The felony murder doctrine states that unintended deaths that occur during the course of committing another felony are murders. The doctrine does not require an intent to kill. In some cases the conviction for murder is sustained when a co-defendant did the actual killing. Even if the death were accidental, all of the participants can be found guilty of felony murder, including those who did no harm, had no gun, and/or did not intend to hurt anyone.

    Some states have by statute elevated felony murder cases to murder in the first degree. Such statutes typically define the felony murder as where the homicide or death of a victim occurs accidentally or otherwise as a result of injuries received in the commission or the attempt to commit a specified felony, such as arson, kidnapping, sexual assault, robbery, burglary, breaking and entering, escape from lawful custody, and manufacturing or delivering of a controlled substance, where the defendant participated in such commission or attempt to commit one or more of these enumerated felonies.

    Works for me. His crime caused her death. His fleeing rather than just picking up the phone, dialing 911 and then running shows (imo) depraved indifference to human life. He could have quite possibly saved Mary’s life – without hastening his own capture – by just dialing 911 and walking out the door. Instead, he saw her dying and RAN OFF. Cowardly, selfish, inhumane despicable excuse for a human being.

    Throw away the key on this one.

    RIP Mary. Condolences to the family and friends.

  • http://www.myspace.com/dneil73 Dneilz

    He didn’t go there with intent to murder her…in fact, he didn’t intend to fuck up his robbery…. it should be manslaughter.

    Very sad case, but he does need to pay for his crime.

  • Janelle

    He didn’t go there with intent to murder her…in fact, he didn’t intend to fuck up his robbery…. it should be manslaughter.

    Robbery and bursting in on little old ladies (or anyone, for that matter) with semiautomatic weapons IS fucked up.

    If he intended to make it a nice, friendly bank robbery he would have taken a toy gun, and if was going to have a friendly visit with poor Mrs.Parnell he should have called first, or when the visit didn’t go as planned he could have made a call to save her life.

    Fucked up, despicable, bank robbing, little old lady killing bastard deserves whatever he gets and them some.

  • KANE

    Wow, I’ve mad some bad decisions in my life, but at least I planned them out better than that. ” Sure, let’s walk up to a bank with guns at the ready, they won’t have a problem letting us in.”

    I think it should be manslaughter though. That charge is a bit extreme.

  • http://www.myspace.com/titicarie philly_phan

    Oh man, talk about a bad week. I don’t even know what to say in this case. To charge him with murder seems crazy, but to know that had it not have been for him breaking into Ms. Parnell’s home, she would still be alive. He should, however, be charged with something, I just don’t know if murder would be the correct charge.

    Same thing I was thinking. I’m not sure we can call him a murderer, but a criminal definitely.

    A first degree murder charge is fine with me.

    I’m not so sure about that…

  • Janelle

    If he killed someone at the bank during the robbery, which if their original plan had been realized, was certainly a distinct possibility, would those of you flinching at the lst degree murder charge still flinch? She’s dead because of his actions. Luckily for the people in the bank the robbery thing didn’t go so well for him – who knows what other tragedies might have occurred. Not so lucky for Mrs. Parnell, God rest her soul.

    Some states have by statute elevated felony murder cases to murder in the first degree. Such statutes typically define the felony murder as where the homicide or death of a victim occurs accidentally or otherwise as a result of injuries received in the commission or the attempt to commit a specified felony, such as arson, kidnapping, sexual assault, robbery. . . .

  • ph3n

    i think its hogwash as well but still his criminal actions led to her death so i dunno. i was going to say it doesnt note how they found her, did he call 911? if not then yes throw him in jail for murder

  • porcelain

    It’s a shame he’s such a fuck up.
    He’d be a shoe- in for Cool Runnings part two

    Still sucks for the lady.
    She was probably just chilling watching wheel of fortune and sipping tea or whatever old folks do and then “pow” strange man with weapons pops in to her home.

    I’m only 29 and I probably would have had a heart attack too.

  • Janelle

    It’s a shame he’s such a fuck up.He’d be a shoe- in for Cool Runnings part two

    Not to worry, don’t they have some kind of drama club in prison? And there will probably be plenty of dudes that will appreciate his good looks and come a courtin’. . . . . . ;-)

  • skittlesfairy

    A first degree murder charge seems pretty bunk to me. I mean, I get why it should be a murder charge, but one is pretty hefty… And considering some of the other shit that gets UNDERcharges… Yeah, going over board on something else doesn’t balance the system. It sucks that it’s falling on him. Who knows, she might have died that day from a car back firing and no one would have said a word of difference. Oh well, sucks to be him, donnit?

  • Janelle

    “…. It sucks that it’s falling on him. Who knows, she might have died that day from a car back firing and no one would have said a word of difference. Oh well, sucks to be him, donnit?”

    Comparing an armed man busting into your house with a car backfiring? And why would they have “said a word of difference?” There’s a hell of a difference there. Geez.

    It sucks to be him because he went out armed, intending to rob a bank then scared a defenseless old lady to death. It’s not like he was just minding his own business on his way to being a productive member of society when. . . BAM! Bad luck coming at him! She and her family are the ones deserving of sympathy.

    I’ve never seen so much sympathy for the perpetrator here. Is it because his bank robbery didn’t go through as planned? (As I recall it’s not because he had a change of heart and decided against it.) Or because he’s better looking than some of the other criminals featured? Maybe you can all get together and send him a pot roast in jail. . . . .

  • Shizz

    Tar and feather him and THEN kill him.

  • Abroad

    If causing death however incidentally in the course of a felony is a first degree murder then this on fits the description.

    What sort of sentence is he likely to get for this? Will they take into account that he didn’t lay hand on her?

  • skittlesfairy

    “It sucks to be him because he went out armed, intending to rob a bank then scared a defenseless old lady to death. It’s not like he was just minding his own business on his way to being a productive member of society when. . . BAM! Bad luck coming at him! She and her family are the ones deserving of sympathy.”

    I’m not saying she doesn’t, and I’m sure as hell not saying he didn’t do anything wrong here. Though, from the post here it doesn’t seem exactly like he meant to kill her. Scaring her to death because he was waving a gun in her face… well, fuck that’s that moron’s fault. Breaking in and having that scare her to death? Sure as hell doesn’t seem like it should get him first degree murder.

  • Justin

    This one is unique, I agree i think Murder one is too harsh, but maybe it takes stuff like this to happen to deter people from even thinking about what COULD happen if they engage in criminal conduct. Has anyone heard about the case from Springfield,Oh where i live involving the four girls who ripped off a Macy’s store, and during their getaway ran over, and killed a gentleman in the parking lot Even the 3 that WERENT driving were just convicted of murder in their SECOND trial, so stay tuned we all may be surprised by the outcome in this case!

  • Zibarro

    I’m not saying she doesn’t, and I’m sure as hell not saying he didn’t do anything wrong here. Though, from the post here it doesn’t seem exactly like he meant to kill her. Scaring her to death because he was waving a gun in her face… well, fuck that’s that moron’s fault. Breaking in and having that scare her to death? Sure as hell doesn’t seem like it should get him first degree murder.

    Are you assuming he DIDN’T wave his gun in her face? Hell, just seeing the gun is scary enough.

    Attempting to rob a bank, then HOME INVASION (whether he was nice about it or not) are BOTH felonies. During the commission of the 2nd felony, she died. That makes it felony murder. Just because he didn’t leave the house that morning intending for anyone to die – doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be held accountable when someone does. ( If that’s the law of that state)

    Someone asked about whether or not HE called 911. NO. He just ran away like a little pussy. Left her for her HUSBAND to find DEAD.
    Wasn’t that thoughtful of him?

  • Wildheart

    Just a little more info on the felony murder rule from the “Encyclopedia of Murder & Violent Crime” by Eric W. Hickey:

    Felony Murder

    Recognized by the majority of American jurisdictions, the felony murder rule allows for the harshest of penalties, in some states, death, when the defendant was not the killer and never wished or planned for anyone to die at all. Under the rule, if a death occurs during the commission of certain prescribed felonies – most often, burglary, sexual assault, kidnapping, and other dangerous felonies – any participant in the underlying felony can be found guilty of first-degree murder, not just the “trigger man.” A common example is the bank robbery gone wrong. Two men carry out a robbery during which one of the robbers ends up shooting the bank guard. Both robbers can be convicted of first-degree murder.

    The reasoning behind the felony murder rule is that anyone who carries out a potentially dangerous crime should be responsible for deaths arising from it. The rule is said to punish wrongdoers while deterring others from committing similar dangerous felonies, thereby reducing violence. Because research hasn’t supported this hypothesis, some states have abandoned felony murder, but the rule is still alive in most jurisdictions.

    Those who commit dangerous felonies can also be charged with first-degree murder in some states for killings actually precipitated by the victim or by law enforcement. For example, if the victim of a rape shoots at her rapist and kills a bystander instead, the rapist might, in many states, be charged with first-degree murder. And if a bank robber were to rob a bank and the security guard’s shot went wide and killed the teller instead of the felon, that felon might be destined to die in the electric chair.

    Even accidental deaths can result in capital punishment under some states’ first-degree murder statutes. For example, an unarmed burglar enters into a home at night; the resident hears him, hurries down the stairs, trips, and falls to her death. This is felony murder in many states, because although the burglar did not intend the woman’s death, she would not have died but for his presence. Her death is said to be a direct consequence of the dangerous felony of burglary, so many states punish the burglar with the harshest sentence of all. Other states restrict application of their felony murder rule to more obviously foreseeable violent deaths (Hickey, Eric W. “Felony Murder.”Enclyclopedia of Murder & Violent Crime).

  • Athena

    Personally, while I understand the motivation to create such a thing as felony murder, I generally disagree with any legislation that dilutes the meaning of murder. We, as a society and for hundreds of years, have considered people who intentionally kill to be worse than people who don’t intend on it but do anyway. If we insist on chipping away at that to get harsher sentencing for those we feel deserve it, we may end up with no distinction between murder and manslaughter whatsoever, which would not lend itself to accurate justice.

  • Dakota Valkyrie

    They can call it “bunny hugging” for all I care. As long as he gets an appropriate sentence. “Appropriate” being another of those words that tangles everything up.

  • Veronica

    Personally, while I understand the motivation to create such a thing as felony murder, I generally disagree with any legislation that dilutes the meaning of murder. We, as a society and for hundreds of years, have considered people who intentionally kill to be worse than people who don’t intend on it but do anyway. If we insist on chipping away at that to get harsher sentencing for those we feel deserve it, we may end up with no distinction between murder and manslaughter whatsoever, which would not lend itself to accurate justice.

    I agree, Athena. I think that the felony murder rule does, in fact, dilute the concept of murder. In most first-degree murder trials, the jury is required to take into account whether there was actually intent, and in fact the entire concept of first-degree murder was built around the idea of intent. Intent is seen as so important that we have a justice system that seperates those who commit murder with intent from other murderers.

    Meanwhile, there is this felony murder rule that seemingly destroys the foundation upon which juries are normally asked to gauge intent. But that’s just my opinion, really.

  • http://www.dreamindemon.com Morbid

    The reasoning behind the felony murder rule is that anyone who carries out a potentially dangerous crime should be responsible for deaths arising from it.

    Amen, and pass them deeeeelicious biscuits!

  • fashionicon

    First of all I hate when people blog about something they know absolutely nothing about, I am one of larry closest friends, his mother was deployed to iraq to fight for this sorry ass country while he cared for his 16 year old brother, his lights were turned off at the house and he had jus loss his job..there’s no excuse for his actions but he DID NOT kill ms.parnell(got rest her soul) surely she was scared when she first learned he was in her house but he never laid his hand on her or so much as raised his voice, he had NO weapons in her house, he ditched them before entering her house which he thought was vacant.. Be opened minded and kno the facts, murderer is def not larry

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