Philadelphia Man Who Stabbed Girlfriend to Death Inside Atlantic City Casino Sentenced
Posted on: June 26, 2023, 01:44h.
Last updated on: June 27, 2023, 12:47h.
A 61-year-old man from Philadelphia will spend at least the next 17 years in prison for murdering his girlfriend inside an Atlantic City casino hotel room in 2021.
Police on June 11, 2021, responded to the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City after a housekeeper found an unresponsive woman. Law enforcement said a woman was found deceased underneath a bedsheet with a knife, presumed to be the murder weapon, laying on top of the sheet.
Casino security assisted local police in determining that Frankie Lane was the likely perpetrator. Resort surveillance showed Lane and a 57-year-old woman who was later identified as Sharon Whaley checking in to the Atlantic City resort shortly before 6:30 p.m. local time on June 10, 2021.
Video footage showed the two entering a guest room on the 34th floor of the Hard Rock. No one exited or entered the room until Lane left the occupancy the following morning carrying a small bag. Police said Lane purchased a bus ticket and traveled back to Philadelphia that day.
Sentence Imposed Following Plea Deal
Authorities apprehended Lane in Philadelphia and charged him with murder and weapons offenses. Lane said he was in a relationship with Whaley.
His attorneys eventually managed to strike a plea deal with the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office after Whaley’s family agreed to the resolution. Lane admitted to stabbing Whaley multiple times following an altercation in the room.
Police said the bag Lane was seen carrying upon exiting the Hard Rock was not with him once he arrived at the Atlantic City Bus Terminal. Law enforcement located the bag in a trash can near the public transit site, but its contents weren’t made public.
Lane agreed to plead guilty to Whaley’s death in exchange for prosecutors lessening the charges against him. Lane’s plea deal included a first-degree manslaughter conviction, which carries a possible prison sentence of up to 30 years.
Prosecutors encouraged the court to impose a 20-year sentence. A judge in the Atlantic County Municipal Court agreed on the sentence.
Lane won’t be eligible for parole until he serves at least 85% of the sentence under New Jersey’s No Early Release Act. Enacted in 1997, the state law requires that offenders found guilty of violent crimes be required to serve at least 85% of their imposed sentence.
With Lane’s prison sentence set at 20 years, he won’t become eligible until he serves 17 years behind bars.
Atlantic City doesn’t rank high among the safest cities in the US. According to Neighborhood Scout, an online database of neighborhood analytics, Atlantic City’s 2023 “Crime Index” is a measly 10 out of a possible score of 100.
The real estate-focused website says seven out of every 1,000 residents in town will be the victim of a violent crime in a given year. That’s considerably higher than just four of every 1,000 for the national average, and less than two per 1,000 residents in New Jersey.
About 37% of the Atlantic City population lives below the federal poverty line.
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