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Updated: 7:06 a.m. Sunday, April 7, 2013 | Posted: 9:02 a.m. Saturday, April 6, 2013
By Catherine Bilkey
LENOIR, N.C. —
Eyewitness News has been learning more about a man behind bars, being held without bond in Lenoir. Michael Whisnant is accused of killing a woman on Wild Cherry Lane on Friday night.
Police identified the woman as 38-year-old Tammy Lynn Benge of 104 Pope Place, Lenoir.
Whisnant was actually due in court next week for an assault charge on a female. Channel 9 spoke with his aunt. She said she was surprised he was out of jail but wasn't surprised about the new charge. "I wasn't surprised at all," Whisnant's aunt said. She didn't want her first name used but says her nephew needs help. "He's a good person until he gets pilled up or drunk," she said. She thought he was still in jail from an assault charge on a woman, and now he's accused of something even more violent. "This is not the first time that he's beat (someone)," she said. Police did a welfare check on Wild Cherry Lane just before midnight. That's when they found the victim and arrested Whisnant. Neighbors are shocked. "It's just hard to know something like that happened right below where you live," Jenette Beaver said. Beaver lives feet away from the crime scene. Her son is friends with Whisnant's son. "Now he's going to have to go see his dad in prison," Beaver said. She worries the teenager will now have to grow up without a father at home. "Before you do anything like that you need to think about who you leave behind," Beaver said. "It's rough." She also feels for the family of the person who was killed and so does Whisnant's aunt. "Nobody deserves to die that way," she said. Whisnant will make his first court appearance on Monday. Anyone with any information about the case is asked to contact the Lenoir Police Department at 828-757-2100.
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