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News Story
Updated: 12/11/2013 08:00:01AM

Man sentenced to life for grandmother’s murder

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PHOTO PROVIDED BY PCSO


Christopher Chase Whaley

PHOTO PROVIDED


Barbara Denmark will be missed by family and friends.

By KATHY LEIGH BERKOWITZ

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Last week, a 25-year-old Lake Wales man was sentenced to life in prison for murdering his grandmother.

According to reports from the State Attorney’s Office, Christopher Chase Whaley was charged with first degree murder, “based on allegations of premeditation.”

Brian Haas of the SAO notes that Whaley did not testify at his trial.

He will eventually be transported to one of the federal prisons.

Haas says that there is no chance for parole in such cases, however, also added there is always the possibility of an appeal, if one is filed within 30 days of the sentencing, which was Thursday, Dec. 5.

Whaley was assigned a public defender, Attorney Austin Maslanik.

The Public Defender’s office filed an appeal Tuesday.

“Yes, we were filing the appeal today,” Maslanik said Monday.

“The key part of our defense is that there was no premeditation or planning, it was a purely impulsive act.”

According to reports, Barbara Denmark, a 69-year-old grandmother who lived in a quiet park surrounded by family, was brutally killed in April 2012, stabbed to death in her own home. Her grandson, Christopher Chase Whaley, told arresting officers that he was the one who did it, according to the arrest affidavit. Whaley was booked into the Polk County Jail and charged with first-degree murder.

According to the taped narrative investigators got from Whaley and released by the PCSO, the family had gone to Daytona Beach on Saturday, April 28, 2012, for an outing.

Reports say Whaley told the investigators he had gotten intoxicated and argued with his aunt and his grandmother while in Daytona.

He called 911 and was at his grandmother’s home when deputies arrived, and turned himself in. He was kneeling over her body, cradling her head, arrest reports say.


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