SAPULPA, Okla. - A 32-year-old Sapulpa man was sentenced to life in prison Thursday with a possibility of parole for the killing of his then-girlfriend's 3-year-old son in 2015.
Christopher Whinery was arrested in 2015 and was convicted of first degree murder child abuse and sentenced to life in the Department of Corrections with a chance of parole in a little more than 38 years.
The boy, Jason White, was just nine days shy of his 4th birthday when he was killed, according to his grandfather, Todd.
The arrest affidavit at the time of the murder disclosed that witnesses expressed concern with Whinery's violent behavior in the past.
Jason was rushed to the emergency room in January 2015 after police were told the boy had fallen or jumped off a bed and hit his head. But as hospital staff checked out the young boy, doctors say his injuries matched with being shaken and then taking a traumatic hit to the head.
The arrest affidavit for Whinery includes his then-girlfriend saying she saw Whinery go into the bedroom. Then she said she heard her son being spanked, crying, and finally a loud thump on the floor.
A week before Jason's death, Todd White said he had seen a sign of possible abuse.
"He had a black eye," the grandfather said at the time. "That is when we began wondering. And he was very quiet. Very subdued."
Whinery is required to serve 85 percent of his sentence, which is a little more than 38 years. The DOC calculates a man’s life expectancy at 45 years in Oklahoma; 85 percent of that would be 38.3 years.
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