Home Crime Man arrested in Rockingham for 2017 Winston-Salem murder convicted

Man arrested in Rockingham for 2017 Winston-Salem murder convicted

WINSTON-SALEM — A man caught in Rockingham in connection to a 2017 Forsyth County murder case will spend the next 25-30 years in prison.

According to a press release from the Forsyth County District Attorney’s office, 38-year-old Adrion Demore Whorley pleaded guilty in Superior Court on June 10 to charges of second-degree murder, destroying or removing a body and concealing an unnatural death, and robbery with a dangerous weapon.

The case dates back to April 10, 2017, when officers with the Winston-Salem Police Department responded to the home of 75-year-old John Douglas Agnew, according to the D.A.’s office. Agnew’s daughter had not heard from him since three days before and was concerned.

She reportedly had contacted a locksmith to open the door to her father’s home and dried blood was found inside. There was also reportedly a note on the door — in a handwriting the daughter didn’t recognize — reading that Agnew was “not feeling well.”

While searching the home, according to the release, police found Agnew’s car was missing and that his safe had been broken into.

Police also found Agnew’s remains and discovered that his body had been dismembered and some of his remains were taken from the scene, according to the release. The missing remains were found by the Randolph County Sheriff’s Office.

An autopsy revealed that Agnew’s cause of death was multiple stab wounds to the neck and torso, according to the release.

The Winston-Salem PD forensic unit, according to the release, was able to recover a latent fingerprint — belonging to Whorley — from the note left on the door.

Records with the N.C. Department of Adult Correction show Whorley had just been released from prison on Jan. 3 of that year. Whorley had served more than 15 years in prison following a 2001 conviction — when he was 15 years old — in Forsyth County of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury, possessing stolen goods, and eight counts of robbery with a dangerous weapon.


Whorley was still on parole when the murder took place.

According to the release, Whorley was apprehended in Rockingham the day after police received the results of the fingerprint analysis.

Note: The release does not indicate that Whorley was living in Rockingham at the time.

During questioning, the release states, Whorley admitted to killing Agnew. Whorley reportedly said he had known the victim for years and had gone to visit him when they had a disagreement that escalated to Agnew’s death.

Whorley also reportedly admitted to breaking into Agnew’s safe, stealing a gun and the victim’s car, and leaving the vehicle near an abandoned house in Randolph County.

“Since his arrest, Adrion Whorley had been found incompetent to proceed to trial and received extensive psychiatric treatment in an effort to restore his capacity to stand trial,” the release states. “Recently Mr. Whorley became competent to stand trial.”

After consideration and consultation with the D.A.’s office, Agnew’s family agreed with Whorley pleading guilty to the aforementioned charges. Whorley was sentenced to 25-31 years in prison.

Online records show Whorley was also convicted in Columbus County, while serving his sentence on the assault and robbery charges, for having a controlled substance in a penal institution in 2010.