GASTONIA, N.C. – A bank robbery suspect who authorities accused of scaring an elderly woman to death after hiding in her home has been sentenced to life in prison.
Larry Whitfield of Charlotte was sentenced Wednesday in federal court, authorities told North Carolina media outlets. Whitfield, 22, had been convicted of attempted bank robbery, weapons offenses and seeking to avoid arrest for attempted bank robbery.
Prosecutors say Whitfield and another man tried to rob a Gastonia credit union in September 2009. They say Whitfield forced his way into the home of Mary Parnell, 79, to elude police.
Police say Whitfield made Parnell sit in a chair and soon left the house. An autopsy report said Parnell died of a heart attack brought on by "stress during home invasion."