Shane Whipple (taken in 2018)

Camden, N.J. – A Berlin man was sentenced to life in prison Feb. 7 for brutally killing his aunt with a hatchet inside her Berlin apartment in 2018, according to Acting Camden County Prosecutor Jill Mayer.

Shane Whipple, 29, of Berlin, was sentenced to 75 years subject to the No Early Release Act by Judge Mark Chase.

Whipple was convicted Dec. 10, 2019 of killing his aunt, 44-year-old Jennifer Whipple. Detectives said Whipple was staying with his aunt at her Berlin apartment before she called police Jan. 25, 2018 and asked them to escort him off the property due to his violent behavior.

Homicide detectives discovered that Whipple purchased a hatchet at the Berlin Mart the next day and returned to the apartment with it.  Surveillance footage at the Taylor Woods complex captured him entering and leaving Jennifer Whipple’s apartment building shortly before 5 p.m. Jan. 26 carrying what was believed to be the hatchet.

Police discovered Jennifer Whipple’s body Jan. 27, 2018 while conducting a well-being check requested by her family She had been fatally hit in the head multiple times with a sharp object.

At the trial, Acting Assistant Prosecutors Christine Shah and Anna Trenga presented evidence to a jury over four days. The jury convicted Whipple of first-degree murder and associated weapons offenses after only 90 minutes of deliberation.

Under No Early Release Act guidelines, Whipple must serve 63 years, 9 months and three days before becoming eligible for parole.