Past crimes: drugs, forgery, aggravated assault

    7:33 PM, Jul 30, 2012   |    comments
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    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - The man accused of killing his parents and then kidnapping his 12-year-old sister isn't a stranger to law enforcement.

    Two days after celebrating her 65th birthday, Annette Whitlow is found murdered along with her husband Bobby on Saturday.
    A family is hit by a flood of family tragedy over the weekend.

    "I had just left my mom and baby brother because we had a sister who died of cancer," says Annette's sister, Rose Harshaw.

    The couple's son Antonio Whitlow allegedly committed the murders and took his sister to Memphis. Now arrested, his sister in safe hands, he appeared in a Tennessee courtroom to answer separate aggravated assault charges.

    "You know how you keep looking around like this. He had the knife around me and kept looking up," says Shirley King.

    Shirley King, the owner of a group home in Memphis says he stabbed his roommate earlier this year. His criminal background goes even further. In Pulaski County he has arrests dating back to 1999 that include drugs, forgery, shoplifting, an aggravated assault on a girlfriend in 2007 and more than $2,000 fines. It's still unclear his alleged motive in this murder and kidnapping case.

    "We are not prepared to release information on his mental state or why he did this crime," says Sgt. Cassandra Davis with the Little Rock Police Dept.

    Although a doctor diagnosed Whitlow with paranoid schizophrenia in 200, UALR Associate Dean and Law Professor Felicia Epps says it's not easy to claim insanity at trial.

    "Remember there is treatment. Lots of people come to find out have schizophrenia and if you are treated and stay on your medication, you're just like anyone else," says Epps.

    Epps says a prosecutor doesn't have to prove motive if there's already strong evidence.

    "This could be a crime without motive. Just a person who goes out and commits a crime," says Epps.

    Professor Epps says Whitlow's mental defect could also come to play during sentencing. If found guilty, it's something the jury could consider in terms of punishment. It appears he will face capital murder charges in Pulaski County, which gives prosecutors the option of seeking the death penalty.

    Despite his past arrests, we discovered Whitlow was able to get a job with a security company. That was back in 2007.

    According to court records, Antonio Whitlow has accumulated $2,000 in fines since 1999. Some of those fines stem from possession of marijuana, failure to appear, and five speeding violations.

    Davis says police have been called to the home on Zion street twice for disturbance calls.  Once in 2009 and another time in 2010.

    Prosecutor Larry Jegley says he can't talk about the case until police gathers the case file, but he says it's too early to say if he'll file any additional charges. Jegley said he will likely ask for no bond.

    Records show that Whitlow pleaded not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect in 2007 to a charge of aggravated assault on a family or household member.

    Whitlow allegedly murdered his parents Bobby and Annette Whitlow, then took his 12-year-old sister. He was arrested the next day in Memphis. He is in police custody and the girl is in the Arkansas Department of Human Services custody.

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