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Man accused of stabbing to death and dismembering a 75-year-old Winston-Salem man will be sent to Central Regional for psychiatric evaluation.
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Man accused of stabbing to death and dismembering a 75-year-old Winston-Salem man will be sent to Central Regional for psychiatric evaluation.

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A man accused of stabbing a 75-year-old Winston-Salem man to death, dismembering him and dumping part of his body in another county is being sent to Central Regional Hospital for an evaluation to determine if he is mentally capable of standing trial. 

Adrion Demare Whorley, 35, of Rockingham is facing charges of first-degree murder, armed robbery and concealing a death. He is accused of killing and dismembering John Douglas Agnew at Agnew's house between April 7, 2017, and April 10, 2017. Indictments also allege that Whorley used a knife to steal Agnew's car. 

If convicted of first-degree murder, Whorley faces the possibility of getting the death penalty. 

A hearing was held in Forsyth Superior Court Thursday morning based on a motion filed by Whorley's attorneys, Karen Gerber and J.D. Byers. The motion asked a Forsyth County judge to send Whorley to Central Regional Hospital for a full psychiatric evaluation to help determine whether Whorley is capable of proceeding to trial. 

"We agree that this is the appropriate next step," Gerber said in court.

According to the motion, Dr. Moira Artiques, a forensic psychiatrist, examined Whorley and, based on her examination, she questioned his capacity to proceed to trial. 

Assistant District Attorney James Dornfried did not object to the motion, and Judge David Hall of Forsyth Superior Court granted it. Whorley is tentatively scheduled to come back to court during the week of March 1, 2021.

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The circumstances leading to the discovery of Agnew's remains started when his daughter, Melanie Agnew Simpson, found a strange note on her father's front door at his house on Timberline Drive. Winston-Salem police were called, and when officers arrived, they found Agnew's head, lower legs and arms inside a large black duffel bag that had a Walmart tag on the handle. The bag was in a downstairs bathroom.

A safe in the home had been pried open from the back. Simpson and other family members told police that the safe was usually kept in an upstairs bedroom and held Agnew's .45-caliber handgun. 

Winston-Salem police also found a hacksaw, covered in blood, hair and body tissue in the kitchen sink. Investigators also found visible boot or shoe prints on the floor and fingerprint evidence that matched Whorley, according to a search warrant. The upstairs bathroom shower curtain was also missing. 

The Randolph County Sheriff's Office found Agnew's torso in a wooded area off Canter Road in Randleman. The torso was wrapped in a transparent shower curtain, a search warrant said. 

At a hearing in 2018, Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Martin said that Agnew was killed four months after Whorley had been released from prison on an assault conviction. Agnew had been among the people listed on Whorley's approved visitors' list in prison.

Martin said Whorley had been inside Agnew's house and that he dismembered Agnew's body after assaulting Agnew. Martin said investigators found cleaning agents, alleging that Whorley had attempted to cover up Agnew's death.

She said Whorley took Agnew's car and drove it to Randolph County, where Agnew's torso was found. Deputies with the Richmond County Sheriff's Office later found Agnew's car. 

An autopsy report said Agnew was stabbed at least four times, including stab wounds in his neck and torso, and several of his fingers were amputated before he was dismembered.

No trial date has been set. 

336-727-7326

@mhewlettWSJ

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