Raleigh Man Scares Woman To Death

February, 02, 2009, by David

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Larry Whitfield, a 20 year old man from Raleigh with no previous criminal convictions, is being charged with first degree murder after he caused a 79 year old woman to die.  Whitfield had tried to rob a bank and failed, then went to hide in a home close by.  Sadly even after warning the woman that he wouldn’t cause her harm, she died of heart attack. 

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 when 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.

Charlotte Observer

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  • Lisa Jeffries
    02/02 11:18 PM

    “tried to rob a bank”

    Wow. Just wow.

  • MMI
    02/03 03:25 AM

    Without debating the virtue of pressing a murder charge here, I’d like to state that even a disgraced former Durham District Attorney could get that charge tossed (or at least reduced).  The woman in question was overweight, diabetic, and had an enlarged heart.  It’s a toss-up to say that this man in her home was THE inducing factor of her M.I.

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