For Immediate Release, Case # 10ZF0088: September 6, 2013
*OCDA is seeking the death penalty for the special circumstances murder in this case
SANTA ANA – A man was convicted today of murdering an 84-year-old woman after breaking into her home and raping, torturing, and stabbing her before stealing her car. Anthony Darnell Wade, 28, Los Angeles, was found guilty by a jury of one felony count of special circumstances murder during the commission of rape, robbery, burglary, and murder with torture, and one felony count each of elder abuse, first degree robbery, first degree residential burglary, torture, forcible rape, and the unlawful taking of a vehicle. The sentencing enhancements for the personal use of a deadly weapon and causing great bodily injury to an elder were found true.
As the District Attorney is seeking the death penalty in this case, the trial will now move to the second phase, the penalty phase. In the penalty phase, the same jury who found the defendant guilty of the crime will consider the aggravating and mitigating circumstances of the evidence to determine the defendant’s penalty, death or life without the possibility of parole. Opening statements in the penalty phase are scheduled to begin Monday, Sept. 16, 2013, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-35, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.
Circumstances of the Case
At approximately 12:00 a.m. on Jan. 10, 2010, Wade walked through an Anaheim neighborhood on Paradise Road and looked through windows with the intention of finding a vulnerable victim from whom he could steal a car. The defendant broke into the home of 84-year-old widow Bessie Whyman through a broken window.
Wade raped Whyman, tied her up by her hands and feet, and punched and kicked the victim. He tortured and murdered her by repeatedly stabbing her with a kitchen knife and a saw. Wade then took a blanket to cover the victim’s body and left her body in the living room. He ransacked the victim’s home and stole her purse and car before fleeing the scene and driving to San Bernardino.
Once in San Bernardino, the defendant was found to be in possession of Whyman’s stolen credit cards at a Food 4 Less store. Wade got into a physical altercation with an employee and was subsequently detained by staff, who called the police. Police officers in San Bernardino determined that Whyman was from Anaheim and contacted the Anaheim Police Department (APD) for a welfare check of Whyman. At approximately 8:30 a.m. on Sunday, Jan. 10, 2010, APD officers discovered the victim after entering Whyman’s home through an unlocked back door.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Ebrahim Baytieh of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.
Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701Contacts:
Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff