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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

More Released on Whitaker Murder

Federal authorities have released more information about the two homeless men accused of killing a violinist for the Chautauqua Symphony, and how they committed the crime last week.

They say 43-year-old Jonathan Conklin and 30-year-old Charles Sanford stole weapons from an apartment in the Town of Sherman before going to the nearby Westfield home of 61-year-old Mary Whitaker. The criminal complaint says they told Whitaker they had run out of gas, and asked to use her phone.

Once inside, they shot and stabbed her, stole her credit cards and her car, and drove to Erie, where they used the credit cards, which allowed police to identify them using surveillance video.

They are both facing federal charges of stealing property and taking it across state lines, and carjacking. A grand jury will consider murder charges. They are being held without bail.

Whitaker, who lived in Manhattan and had a summer home in Westfield, performed with the Westchester Philharmonic and spent summers with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra.

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