Prosecutor opposes parole for child rapist and murderer

Staff report


Trumbull County Prosecutor Dennis Watkins is again opposing parole for John Whisonant and Henry G. Rockwell, who have been eligible for possible parole a few times in the past. Both have parole hearings in August.

Watkins calls Whisonant, 64, a “serial child rapist,” who raped four girls and a boy ages 4 to 10 in Howland Township in the fall of 1984 and in 1981. Watkins has opposed Whisonant’s parole in 2016, 2013 and 2010.

Marcia Tiger, former director of Trumbull County Children Services, investigated the case in 1985 and called the Whisonant case “the ‘standard bearer’ for horrific sexual abuse cases in our county,” Watkins told the parole board in a letter last week.

Rockwell was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison on each of two counts of murder.

Family members of the victims “have continually supported” Watkins’ opposition to parole for Rockwell, Watkins said in his letter last week.

Read the full story Monday in The Vindicator and on

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