by: Trish Williford Updated:BURKE COUNTY, N.C. —
There are major questions about why the man who killed his parents, then the officer and his dog, was out of jail to begin with.
Troy Whisnant was arrested in January for holding someone at gunpoint, but his criminal history dates back much further.
Shirley Newton said her son and Whisnant grew up together and were good friends.
But she said she knew from the beginning that he was trouble and she urged her son to stay away from him.
“Sometimes I look for him to walk through the door and (say), ‘Mom, I'm home.’ But I know he's not going to,” Newton said.
Feb. 10, 1996 was the day Newton's heart was broken forever.
Her son, 21-year-old Shane Newton, was gunned down inside his own home by his longtime friend Whisnant.
Newton said Whisnant called her son to pick him up.
“He shot him with Shane's gun. Shane turned his back. He picked up the gun and shot him in the back of the head,” Newton said.
Whisnant was arrested and convicted on manslaughter charges; He was sentenced to a maximum of three years in prison.
He was given credit for the 14 months he spent in prison before the sentencing and was incarcerated for another year.
“He got nothing really,” Newton said.
“I said, ‘If he gets off this, he'll kill again,’ but they didn't believe me,” she said.
Whisnant had a lengthy rap sheet, which includes credit card theft, larceny, drug possession, burglary and manslaughter.
Newton said it didn't surprise her at all to discover the man who killed her youngest son would also kill again.
Jason Crisp, a U.S. Forest Service officer, died while trying to track down murder suspect Whisnant in Burke County.
The Burke County sheriff said Thursday that the gunman ambushed the officer and his service dog after killing his parents days earlier.
“It really makes me mad that three more had to die which they could've done something when he killed my son, but they didn't,” Newton said.
COMPLETE PAST COVERAGE: Officer, suspect among 4 killed in Burke Co.