Dauphin County Court Judge John Cherry denies the petition of Ernest R. Wholaver, Jr., 54, for post-conviction relief from three sentences of death. First Assistant District Attorney Fran Chardo noted that that the ruling brings us “one step closer to justice for Jean, Vicky, and Izzy”.
A jury convicted Wholaver of the 2002 Christmas Eve murder of his estranged wife, Jean Wholaver, 43 and his daughters, Victoria, 20, and Elizabeth, 15. All three were shot to death inside their Middletown home. Victoria’s nine month old daughter, Madison was not harmed.
Wholaver was arrested two days later. During his trial, Wholaver’s brother Scott, testifying for the prosecutor said Ernest Wholaver shot his wife after she told him she was going to divorce him.
Wholaver was handed three death sentences on August 31, 2004.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court previously affirmed the sentences on direct appeal. Wholaver has thirty days to appeal the denial of PCRA relief to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.