Release Date: Tuesday, April 7, 2009 4:30 p.m.
Harvey L. Bryant, Commonwealth’s Attorney for the City of Virginia Beach, announced today that Michael Samuel Whitmore, 35 years old, previously residing in the 3800 block of Croonenbergh, Virginia Beach, VA, was sentenced to a total of 48 years for two (2) counts of Attempt Murder, one (1) count of Abduction, two (2) counts of Use of a Firearm in the Commission of a Felony, Malicious Wounding, and Violation of a Protective Order – Assault with Serious Bodily Injury. Circuit Court Judge Stephen C. Mahan suspended 32 years, leaving the defendant to serve an active sentence of 16 years. Judge Mahan exceeded the high end of the sentencing guidelines, which was 8 years, by doubling the high end to 16 years. Judge Mahan stated that the sentencing guidelines range was insufficient.
During the two-day trial, the Commonwealth’s evidence proved that on July 13, 2008 the defendant’s wife, Amy Whitmore, arrived at the defendant’s mother’s residence and remained in her vehicle while the defendant’s mother brought her child out to the vehicle. While Amy Whitmore strapped her child into the backseat of the vehicle, the defendant exited the residence holding a 9mm handgun. As he approached the vehicle he was yelling obscenities at Amy Whitmore. The defendant attempted to shove her into the vehicle using the car door, causing her to be pinned in the door jamb. While Amy Whitmore was pinned the defendant pointed the gun at her head. He then pointed the gun at Amy’s sister, Courtney Turner, who was seated in the front passenger seat ordering her to stay in the vehicle. As the struggle continued the defendant pointed the gun at Courtney’s head and pulled the trigger. The gun did not fire. The defendant pointed the gun at Amy Whitmore stating that he was going to kill her and pulled the trigger. Again the gun failed to fire. Courtney Turner then fled the vehicle with her cell phone and called police. As the defendant’s attention was drawn by Courtney’s escape, Amy Whitmore was able to get away and ran down the street. The defendant gave chase and upon catching Amy, he used his gun to knock her to the ground, hit her in the head multiple times with the gun, causing a severe laceration to the back of Amy’s head. This resulted in her having to have four (4) staples to close the laceration. Since the gun had not fired, he took out the magazine and re-inserted it into the gun. The defendant attempted a second time to shoot Amy, pulling the trigger three (3) times, but the gun did not fire. Amy Whitmore was finally able to escape, ran down the street and hid with Courtney in a neighbor’s backyard until the police arrived. The defendant then jumped into Amy’s vehicle and fled the scene. Amy Whitmore had gotten a protective order issued against the defendant two (2) days before this incident occurred.
The defendant’s criminal history includes Damaging Phone Lines, and Assault & Battery Against a Family Member.
Senior Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Lyla M. Zeidan prosecuted the case. Please call Amanda Herman if additional information is desired.