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Chief investigative reporter Jonathan Dienst on crime, corruption and terrorism.
New Jersey

New Jersey Man Sentenced to 75 Years in Hatchet Murder of Aunt

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What to Know

  • A man has been sentenced to 75 years in prison in the hatchet murder of his aunt inside her New Jersey apartment two years ago
  • Camden County prosecutors said Friday that 29-year-old Shane Whipple will be required to serve 63 3/4 years in prison before he will be eligible for parole
  • Prosecutors say he had been staying with 44-year-old Jennifer Whipple in her Winslow Township apartment before she asked police to escort him from the home. Prosecutors said he bought a hatchet the next day and returned to the apartment. His aunt's body was found the next day

A man has been sentenced to 75 years in prison in the hatchet murder of his aunt inside her New Jersey apartment two years ago.

Camden County prosecutors said Friday that 29-year-old Shane Whipple will be required to serve 63 3/4 years in prison before he will be eligible for parole.

Prosecutors say he had been staying with 44-year-old Jennifer Whipple in her Winslow Township apartment for about a year before she asked police to escort him from the home in January 2018.

Prosecutors said he bought a hatchet the next day and returned to the apartment, where surveillance video showed him entering and leaving the building carrying what was believed to be the weapon. His aunt's body was found the next day.

Police say the victim had called the municipal building minutes before she was killed and “it is believed that she was attempting to call police,” but the call did not go through. The defendant's attorney argued that he was only at the apartment that day to pick up his belongings.

Authorities said Shane Whipple then headed to Atlantic City to drive for a ride-share company. A few days later, Evesham Township police pulled over his car, in which he is believed to have been living, and reported finding blood-stained clothes in the trunk.

Jurors deliberated for about 90 minutes in December before convicting him of first-degree murder and weapons offenses.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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