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NC man in scaring death gets life in prison


GASTONIA, NC (AP) -- A bank robbery suspect accused of scaring a Gaston County woman to death after hiding in her home has been sentenced to life in prison.

Multiple media outlets reported that 22-year-old Larry Whitfield of Charlotte was sentenced in federal court Wednesday. Whitfield had been convicted of attempted bank robbery, various weapons charges and trying to avoid arrest for attempted bank robbery.

Prosecutors say Whitfield and a co-defendant tried to rob a credit union in Gastonia in September 2009. They say Whitfield forced his way into the home of 79-year-old Mary Parnell to hide from police.

Police say Whitfield made Parnell sit in a chair and soon left the house. An autopsy showed she died from a heart attack that police say was the result of Whitfield's presence.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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