Court records: Mom feared Ark. slayings suspect

AP News
Posted: Jul 30, 2012 7:19 PM
Court records: Mom feared Ark. slayings suspect

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — An Arkansas woman found dead in her home had requested a protective order, saying she feared for her life after her son, who had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, threatened to kill her.

Annette Whitlow received a temporary order, but it was cancelled after she failed to show up in court.

She and her husband, Bobby Whitlow, were found dead Saturday. Authorities say they expect the couple's son, 33-year-old Antonio Whitlow, to be charged with murder.

Whitlow was being held in lieu of $50,000 bond Monday in Tennessee, where he faces an assault charge in a May stabbing. He was arrested in Memphis late Saturday after being spotted with his 12-year-old sister. Police say she did not appear to have been harmed.

Annette Whitlow requested the protective order in 2009. Her son had been diagnosed two years earlier with paranoid schizophrenia and borderline intellectual functioning after he pleaded not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect to an assault charge. He changed his plea after a psychologist determined he understood the proceedings, could help in his defense and was fit to stand trial.

Whitlow was sentenced to five years of probation that would have ended in October, according to court records. He also was ordered to take domestic violence classes, although it wasn't clear whether he did.

It also wasn't clear whether he sought or received mental health care.

Patrick Benca, his lawyer in that case didn't return phone calls Monday. He said Sunday that he hasn't had contact with Whitlow, who he described as not "an unlikeable guy."

Police and court records paint a much different picture, describing threats and violent incidents that happened over several years.

When Whitlow's mother filed for protection, she said her son pushed her on a bed, twisted her arm back and threatened to kill her.

"I will know that he will kill me," she wrote. "I am fearful for my life..."

She also said her son told her adopted daughter that "I was a devil because I go to church and I shouldn't make her go to church."

Authorities in Memphis say Whitlow attacked a man there with a butcher knife in May. He is due back in court Aug. 6. He does not yet have a lawyer.

Earlier this month, a friend told Little Rock police that Whitlow had been sending him text messages threatening to kill him.

The friend said "Mr. Whitlow is 'not fully there in the head' but is tired of the threats," according to a police report.

A few days later, on July 13, a woman said Whitlow showed up at her home and started kicking the garage door. Another man who lives there said he chased Whitlow off, but Whitlow hopped in a car and tried to run him over before he left.

Grady Carter, a member of the small ministry led by Bobby Whitlow, said he went to the Whitlows' house Saturday for a meeting.

"She was my spiritual godmother and he was my spiritual godfather," Carter said.

He walked up to the door and saw Annette Whitlow lying on the living room floor. He rang the doorbell three times, and when no one answered, he let himself in. Then, he said, he called the police, who found Bobby Whitlow's body in the kitchen.

Police wouldn't say how the 65-year-old couple died, but a police report lists a knife or some sort of cutting instrument as a weapon used in their deaths.


Associated Press writer Adrian Sainz contributed to this report from Memphis.


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