Ark. slayings suspect diagnosed with schizophrenia

Antonio Whitlow ((AP Photo/Memphis Police Department))
July 30, 2012 1:21:37 PM PDT
An Arkansas man suspected of killing his parents and kidnapping his 12-year-old sister was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia five years ago and had a history of violence and making threats, according to police and court records.

Authorities arrested Antonio Whitlow, 33, on Saturday night in Memphis, Tenn., hours after his parents' bodies were found about 135 miles away in Little Rock. His sister was with him, and police said she doesn't appear to have been injured.

Little Rock police have said they expect Whitlow to be extradited to face murder charges in his parents' deaths. On Monday, he was ordered held in lieu of $50,000 bond in Tennessee, where he faces an assault charge in a May stabbing. Authorities say he attacked a man with a butcher knife.

Police haven't said how Whitlow's parents were killed, but a police report lists a knife or some sort of cutting instrument as a weapon.

Whitlow does not yet have a lawyer.

He was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and borderline intellectual functioning in 2007, according to court records. He had pleaded not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect to an assault charge, but changed his plea to guilty after a psychologist deemed him fit to stand trial because he "had the capacity to understand the proceedings against him" and could assist in his defense. He was placed on five years' probation.

Two years later, his mother filed for a protection order, saying Whitlow had pushed her on a bed, twisted her arm back and threatened to kill her.

"I will know that he will kill me," she wrote when asking for the protection order. "I am fearful for my life ..."

A judge granted a temporary protection order barring Whitlow from his parents' home. The order was later dismissed when Annette Whitlow didn't show up to court.

___

Associated Press writer Adrian Sainz contributed to this report from Memphis.


Load Comments