North Carolina prosecutors are pursuing an interesting felony-murder charge against Larry Whitfield, who is accused of breaking into the home of an elderly lade after an attempted bank robbery and car chase. Whitfield never touched Mary Parnell, 79, but the stress is believed to have caused her heart attack and death.
Whitfield wrecked his getaway car after the flight and broke into the home to hide. He told Parnell to sit in a chair in her bedroom, but the fright killed her.
Whitfield, 20, is now charged with first-degree murder. He has no prior offenses.
This is not the first such felony-murder case involving such a heart attack. In 1982, Willie Ingram was convicted after 64-year-old Melvin Cooper died from a heart attack in his New York home during a robbery and in 2008 a Pittsburgh jury convicted Mark Fisher of the murder of 89-year-old Freda Dale, who medical examiners said died in her home from a fear-induced heart attack.
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