Eric Whitehead was fourteen years old when he murdered his stepsister. According to court documents this teen killer and the victim had been arguing when Eric had enough and would shoot his sleeping stepsister in the head ten times. A theory that was brought up was Eric was dreaming that he and his sister were fighting and when he woke up he would grab the rifle and shoot the victim multiple times. Eric Whitehead would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to life in prison
Eric Whitehead 2020 Information
MAJOR OFFENSE: MURDER
MOST RECENT INSTITUTION: GA STATE PRISON
MAX POSSIBLE RELEASE DATE: LIFE
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We’re learning new information about why investigators think 14-year-old Eric Whitehead became a killer, accused of shooting his step-sister at least 10 times in the head Friday afternoon.
Investigators say the victim, Trish Troglen, never saw it coming. She was asleep on the couch.
The 14-year-old has a history of psychiatric problems. Eric Whitehead told investigators he had a dream and moment’s later that dream turned into a nightmare for his family.
A family still reeling after coming home to find their daughter dead, and their son to blame.
“When we got here we found a female had a gun shot wound, at least one gun shot wound to the head,” says Richmond County Sheriff’s Lieutenant Scott Peebles.
Turns out investigators found 22-year-old Trish Troglen wasn’t shot just once, but at least 10 times in the head while she slept on the couch. The gunman, her 14-year-old step-brother.
Investigators say Eric Whitehead told them he had a dream Friday afternoon that he and Troglen were arguing. He woke up upset and took a rifle from his step-father’s room.
Even more puzzling, investigators say Whitehead told them he considered Troglen is best friend.
They also say Whitehead had a history of psychiatric problems. “The brain is a part of our anatomy and it gets sick just like other organs in our body,” says Pat Strode, with the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Georgia.
Just hours before the shooting on Friday, a training exercise going on at MCG, working specifically with mental illnesses.
“Our jails and our prisons have become the defacto for mental health treatment centers,” says Strode.
Investigators say Whitehead was bouncing in between homes, getting in trouble and running away.
“Statistics also tell us that at least 80 percent of children in the juvenile justice system here in Georgia have a diagnosable mental illness,” says Strode.
A mental illness, that may have started with a dream, but ended with a nightmare. Leaving a blended family more broken than ever.
Eric Whitehead’s biological father did contact News 12. He said:
“I am Eric’s biological father. He and I just got reunited after 13 years. He does have problems. I have noticed that by talking to him. I believe teenage hormones and peer pressures led to all that went wrong Friday morning. Eric wouldn’t talk to a psychiatrist. His mom begged him and he wouldn’t talk. All he could say was, I have anger and that’s all I’m saying.”
Whitehead will be charged as an adult. He’s currently at the Youth Detention Center.
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A 15-year-old Georgia boy was sentenced to life in prison Friday after pleading guilty to murder after shooting his stepsister in the head 10 times while she was asleep on the couch.
Eric Whitehead, then 14, told investigators he had a dream Aug. 7, 2009 that he and his 22-year-old sister, Trish Troglen, were arguing, reports CBS affiliate WRDW. Whitehead reportedly woke up enraged, took a rifle from his stepfather’s room, and shot his stepsister in the head 10 times while she was napping on the sofa.
Judge Sheryl Jolly sentenced Whitehead to life in prison with the possibility of parole, according to The Augusta Chronicle. He was charged as an adult and may be eligible for parole in 30 years.
Whitehead, who had a tendency to run away and get into trouble, was temporarily staying with his stepfather at the time of the shooting, reports the Chronicle.
Shortly after the shooting, investigators said Whitehead told them he considered Troglen to be his best friend.
Investigators say Whitehead had a history of psychiatric problems. Following the fatal incident he underwent two mental examinations – both found him competent to stand trial, Assistant District Attorney Hank Syms told the Chronicle.
Whitehead’s biological father told WRDW that he believed “teenage hormones and peer pressures led to all that went wrong.”
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Eric Whitehead is currently incarcerated at the Georgia State Prison
- Why is Eric Whitehead in prison
Eric Whitehead was convicted of the murder of his stepsister who he shot ten times in the head as she lay sleeping
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Eric Whitehead is serving a life without parole sentence
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