08-23-2014, 12:06 PM #1
NY - Mary Whitaker, 61, violinist, murdered in her Westfield home, 20 Aug 2014
Two men have been charged with the murder of a NY Westchester Philharmonic Orchestra violinist, in her rural home. She was found by her husband and another member of the orchestra, who became alarmed when they could not reach her.
'Mary E. Whitaker, 61, was found murdered from a gunshot wound to the chest on Wednesday (Aug 20th) in the garage of her home in Westfield, New York.
Two men were charged on Friday with her murder. Jonathan Conklin, 43, and 30-year-old Charles Sanford are believed to have killed Ms Whitaker during an attempted robbery. '
Police also say they believe she may have been tortured into giving up her credit card information, which was 'compromised'. Mary's car was found abandoned in Erie, PA, which enabled the FBI to traces the suspects. She lived in Manhattan for much of the time, and neighbors reported seeing a suspicious man on her driveway in June. Police believe she was targeted.
Last edited by zwiebel; 08-23-2014 at 12:18 PM.We 'embraced' the missing Bob Harrod case as requested but 6 years on, are still waiting for further guidance
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08-23-2014, 12:17 PM #2
'A man who appears to be Conklin,who police said had an outstanding arrest warrant for grand larceny in an unrelated case in nearby Sherman, New York, was seen on video using Whitaker's credit card in Erie...Officials declined to say why they suspect Sanford.'
'The Westchester Philharmonic family is grief-stricken over the tragic and untimely death of our dear friend and colleague. Mary was a violinist with the Westchester Philharmonic for at least 27 years (even she wasn't sure how long), and spent many summers at the Chautauqua Institution, performing with the symphony orchestra there. A true and caring friend and an exquisite artist, Mary was loved and admired for her gentleness yet strength, her wisdom, enthusiasm, and generous soul. We miss her terribly. May she rest in peace.'
http://www.westchesterphil.org/We 'embraced' the missing Bob Harrod case as requested but 6 years on, are still waiting for further guidance
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08-29-2014, 01:12 AM #3
There are no murder charges at this point – a Chautauqua County grand jury will decide that later – but the two men accused of killing concert violinist Mary E. Whitaker already find themselves facing life in prison and maybe the death penalty.
Jonathan M. Conklin and Charles Sanford are charged with three federal crimes at this point and, at least two of them carry a maximum penalty of death. The final decision on whether the Whitaker murder becomes a capital case rests with the U.S. Justice Department in Washington, D.C.
“They’re charged with a crime of violence,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy C. Lynch told the court Thursday. And “the crime, the murder of Miss Whitaker, is quite gruesome.”
09-09-2014, 10:10 AM #4
Two men accused of killing Westchester Philharmonic violinist Mary Whitaker have been indicted by a federal grand jury.
Jonathan Conklin, a homeless man with a violent criminal past who lived next door to Whitaker for a short time when he was young, and Charles Sanford, a registered sex offender with a last known address of Erie, Pennsylvania, both face possible sentences of 10 years to life in prison on charges of carjacking, use of a firearm in furtherance of a violent crime, and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Conklin and Sanford are also expected to be charged with murder in Chautauqua County.
09-20-2014, 10:59 PM #5
By all accounts, it was a brutal beating. The attackers entered through an unlocked door in the rooming house and, using a baseball bat, beat Walter Michael until he was unconscious. He later died at the hospital.
It was June 1991, and the investigation into the New Hampshire murder led almost immediately to the victim’s roommate, a 20-year-old stranger from Western New York. Jonathan M. Conklin didn’t kill Michael, but he did admit to helping orchestrate the attack.
More than two decades later, Conklin’s involvement in the New Hampshire murder is again part of an investigation, this one into the killing of concert violinist Mary Whitaker in Chautauqua County.
01-27-2015, 12:03 PM #6
The two men allegedly behind the murder of Westfield resident and accomplished violinist Mary E. Whitaker pleaded not guilty to all state charges Monday in Chautauqua County Court.
Jonathan Conklin, 43, and Charles Sanford, 30, who also face federal charges, were both handed a seven-count indictment by a Chautauqua County Grand Jury...
Barone added that it's too early to determine whether separate trials for the defendants will occur.
12-20-2015, 12:00 PM #7
One of two men linked to the death of Westfield resident and accomplished violinist Mary E. Whitaker pleaded guilty Monday to second-degree murder.
Jonathan Conklin, 44, whose trial was set to begin with jury selection on Jan. 12, will now be sentenced on March 10... Conklin faces a potential 25 years to life in state prison.
His alleged cohort - 31-year-old Charles Sanford - similarly pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in September and will be sentenced on Feb. 29 in Chautauqua County Court. Sanford faces a potential 15 years to life in state prison.
05-18-2016, 05:14 PM #8
On Wednesday, in Chautauqua County Court, 44-year-old Jonathan Conklin was sentenced to 25 years to life in state prison.
The sentence comes from a state charge of second-degree murder, which Conklin pleaded guilty to in November.
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