Justice at last for murdered violinist

Both suspects in the robbery and murder of Mary Whitaker, a popular New York violinist, have changed their plea to guilty of second-degree murder.

Their trial, which was scheduled for this week, has been cancelled. The killers await sentencing in February and March.

Jonathan Conklin, 44, and Charles Sanford, 31, both homeless, attacked Mary in August 2014 at her summer home in Chataqua County. Mary, who was alone, was shot twice, in the leg and chest.

A well-known freelance musician, she played in several orchestras and was a close friend of the conductor Marin Alsop. The two suspects were arrested within days.

The judicial process is now at an end. Mary can be remembered in future for the joys of her life, not the tragic manner of her death.

mary whitaker

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  • Both State and Federal Sentencing Hearings are March 9 and 10, 2016. Justice will be served when at each and every Parole Board Hearing for the remainder of their incarceration they are denied parole. Neither of them should walk free ever again for the remainder of their pitiful lives.

  • It still makes me so sad. A wonderful person and long time friend who deserved to live a long and happy life yet.

  • It is a terrible thing to say about a fellow human being, but the world would have been a far better place if these two gentlemen had never been born. Mary was among the finest people I have ever known. For myself and many others, it is a wound that will never really heal.

  • Both of these thoughtless heartless men deserve the very worst the judicial system can provide. It’s just a shame the death penalty isn’t one option. But knowing my dear cousin Mary Elizabeth she wouldn’t wish that on anyone. Even them. #GodBlessMary

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