14-year-old accused of killing stepsister

  • Follow Metro

Richmond County authorities arrested a 14-year-old accused of fatally shooting his stepsister in the head at least 10 times as she slept Friday afternoon.

Back | Next
Whitehead  RCSO
RCSO
Whitehead

Eric Lee Phillips Whitehead was charged with murder and one count of a firearm during the commission of a crime, Richmond County sheriff's Lt. Scott Peebles said.

Police believe Mr. Whitehead shot 22-year-old Patricia Leigh Troglen with a 22-caliber rifle as she slept on a couch at her home in the 5000 block of Neely Road. Ms. Troglen's stepmother found her body at the home about 3 p.m. Friday. She was pronounced dead at 4 p.m.

Mr. Whitehead had been temporarily staying at the home of his stepfather, Ms. Troglen's father, but he had been floating between different homes, Lt. Peebles said.

"He had lived a lot of his teen years from place to place," he said. "He would be in between getting in trouble and running away."

Deputies determined that Mr. Whitehead was the last person with Ms. Troglen before her death. Investigators for Richmond and Columbia counties began a search for the 14-year-old. Columbia County sheriff's deputies eventually found him at a friend's home.

Authorities also found Ms. Troglen's vehicle abandoned at a Raceway convenience store on Gordon Highway near Bobby Jones Expressway. Police believe Mr. Whitehead is connected to the theft.

Mr. Whitehead confessed to investigators that he had a dream about him and Ms. Troglen arguing Friday, Lt. Peebles said. He awoke Friday afternoon enraged by the dream, which, he said, led him to take a rifle out of his stepfather's room.

"They had not had any problems before," Lt. Peebles said. "He pretty much considered her to be his best friend."

Police will charge Mr. Whitehead as an adult. There are no other suspects. Ms. Troglen's body will be taken to the GBI Crime Lab in Augusta for an autopsy this morning.

Mr. Whitehead is being held at the Richmond County Regional Youth Development Center.

Reach Stephanie Toone at (706) 823-3215 or stephanie.toone@augustachronicle.com.

Comments (91) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
jackfruitpaper833
41
Points
jackfruitpaper833 08/08/09 - 01:22 pm
0
0
LaTwon this is change we can

LaTwon this is change we can count on right or yes we can.

Newshound
3
Points
Newshound 08/08/09 - 01:30 pm
0
0
Could be a bad seed, yes, but

Could be a bad seed, yes, but lack of decent home environment and family support --too often this is how a kid ends up. I wonder if he really did have a good relationship with his step-sister (best friend, as the article states). He could also have undiagnosed or untreated bi-polar. I've seen this. Not pretty. Add drugs to that. Prayers go out to the family.

bettyboop
7
Points
bettyboop 08/08/09 - 01:31 pm
0
0
lol..you still "shrugging"

lol..you still "shrugging" fruitjack...hows that working for you?

jess394
0
Points
jess394 08/08/09 - 02:26 pm
0
0
So sad all of you so are

So sad all of you so are quick to judge and know nothing about the families. No defense here- its simply very sad- an awful situation for ALL involved- FYI he wasnt in school because Col Cnty where he goes doesnt start til Monday- newsflash - he was at his dad's for visitation as half of the US children in divorce have routinely- pointing fingers at the parents is just absurd- noone saw this cominig- his families are devastated and quite honestly need prayers and support not blame throwing. I only hope you that live in glass houses recognize you shouldnt throw rocks! My prayers go out to both families and to Eric.

bettyboop
7
Points
bettyboop 08/08/09 - 02:55 pm
0
0
Yes it is an awful

Yes it is an awful thing...and cparker and r2 And myself were stricken from the posts for expressing our opinions...how sad that Americans can not say what they think for fear of some PC moderator expressing THEIR opinon by removing posts..............

bettyboop
7
Points
bettyboop 08/08/09 - 02:59 pm
0
0
r2 did my post offend

r2 did my post offend you?..Cparker did my post offend you?...You both posted an opinion and I responded..neither of your post were offensive to me although I did not agree with them.... can we really keep responding to a paper that censures at it's will?

lwj01998
0
Points
lwj01998 08/08/09 - 03:37 pm
0
0
I think there is more to this

I think there is more to this story. Shooting a sleeping person 10 times. He was obviously awake enough to get the gun. What is the mention stolen goods. possibly the whole motive. Who knows

olehipychick
0
Points
olehipychick 08/08/09 - 03:39 pm
0
0
To sad and it's to bad

To sad and it's to bad someone didn't see the warning signs.

familyfriend
0
Points
familyfriend 08/08/09 - 03:48 pm
0
0
Omg!!! I can't believe what

Omg!!! I can't believe what I'm reading! I know this family and I know this child. My heart and prayers are with the family. Not only have they lost a daughter, but also a son. He was not a bad seed! My child knows all of them. Not only is his family devastated but all of us are! And for those of you who say his parents were not supportive or that they weren't good parents don't know anything about them. They are caring and supportive and loving. This is a terrible tragedy and everyone needs to pray for them. Please stop judging Eric, we don't know what happened. My prayers go out to the families and friends of both Eric and Trisha.

VickFan
4
Points
VickFan 08/08/09 - 04:42 pm
0
0
family friend... this is

family friend... this is sad,but the report clearly states he had a dream and woke up killing. what more can you say to that... she was asleep, so it wasn't self-defense. sad to say, but we don't always know people the way we think we do... the devil is busy and we need to be praying.

justus4
99
Points
justus4 08/08/09 - 05:33 pm
0
0
Why was the weapon available
Unpublished

Why was the weapon available to a kid and not secured? Where is the "responsible owner" and what charges can he/she face? Of course "we" know those answers, but only being rhetorical with a bit of sadness. This could have been avoided with common-sense gun-control laws, but lets not face that reality and only deal with the kid's motivation...and, so how smart are those Americans with their great freedoms? Ask Ms. Troglen.

R2
0
Points
R2 08/08/09 - 05:37 pm
0
0
The moderator is prejudiced

The moderator is prejudiced against anyone that questions this story. You are supposed to be impartial. You shouldn't have put this story online if you didn't want comments. Any of the other violent stories online, I didn't see you jerking everyones comments off.

Rose
17
Points
Rose 08/08/09 - 05:55 pm
0
0
This is sad what happened,

This is sad what happened, but do the crime do the time. I hope he gets what he deserves, which is the rest of his life locked up and off the streets.

Roeschen
1
Points
Roeschen 08/08/09 - 06:39 pm
0
0
My thoughts and prayers go

My thoughts and prayers go out to this family. I believe there is more to this story than what we are hearing about here. I do not wish to judge this boy because I do not know what was going on in his life but taking another person's life is a very final, violent act. On the other hand, maybe he will get 6 months in a mental institution and then state he is "cured" just like the mother that killed her two children in the gas station.

luny7998
0
Points
luny7998 08/08/09 - 06:41 pm
0
0
My thoughts and prayers go

My thoughts and prayers go out to the family. I heard of this story through a classmate that is related to the victim and the accused...I am so sorry for the loss of a loved one I know this is difficult to comprehend. Please know I am there for you if you need me.

Interested Reader
0
Points
Interested Reader 08/08/09 - 06:42 pm
0
0
Please be mindful of your

Please be mindful of your comments. Focus on the fact that two families are hurting right now. Let's pray for them. Mental illness is a disease that can be controlled with proper medication. Keep in mind that if this young man is mentally ill, there is a chance that he will not go to prison. He can very well go to a mental institution after he is adequately assessed.
Pray for our children!

KSL
124791
Points
KSL 08/08/09 - 07:22 pm
0
0
Teenager , notwithstanding,

Teenager , notwithstanding, there is something very wrong with this kid. Off the streets forever, if not the death penalty.

KSL
124791
Points
KSL 08/08/09 - 07:23 pm
0
0
Unless there something about

Unless there something about his upbringing that would place the blame of his behavior on someone else comes to light.

KSL
124791
Points
KSL 08/08/09 - 07:33 pm
0
0
Interested Reader, when I was

Interested Reader, when I was growing up we didn't have so much "mental illness" to blame aberrant behavior on. And we didn't have so much aberrant behavior, as well. If he was mentally ill, then someone was not taking the responsibility for this 14 year old that they should have been taking. You are saying he was mentally ill today. Then, it was known days ago before this happened. Someone was not taking responsibility for a child. I blame the parents for this death if he the 14 year old was a known mental case.

skyking1
0
Points
skyking1 08/08/09 - 07:45 pm
0
0
Who wants to bet this kid was

Who wants to bet this kid was not on drugs!! You just do not wake up from a DREAM and be in a rage strong enough to want to kill someone! more to this story

blackambiance79
0
Points
blackambiance79 08/08/09 - 07:54 pm
0
0
This makes you wonder about

This makes you wonder about the complexities of the human mind and how things go wrong so early for some people.... very sad situation...

KSL
124791
Points
KSL 08/08/09 - 08:01 pm
0
0
Drugs should not be an excuse

Drugs should not be an excuse for his behavior.

KSL
124791
Points
KSL 08/08/09 - 08:03 pm
0
0
blackam, so many things are

blackam, so many things are going wrong with the human mind early on that didn't used to be. What are you trying to say exactly?

notsurprised
88
Points
notsurprised 08/08/09 - 09:07 pm
0
0
very sad story here! the

very sad story here! the question here is what could have made this young man act in such a violent manner? A dream? I have a hard time believing that. I myself have had issues with sleep walking the majority of my life. But to wake up directly after a dream and kill a loved one? no way. There is much more to this story. he needs a medical evaluation followed by a life in incarceration. if he could do this what else is he capable of??

GnipGnop1
2
Points
GnipGnop1 08/08/09 - 09:15 pm
0
0
justus you are a moron. He

justus you are a moron. He could have used a bat or a knife or a car for that matter. Don't blame it on gun laws put the blame where it lies...the boy who pulled the trigger. Stop with the "if we had better kinds of laws crap." Last time I checked murder was against the law but that didn't seem to stop him. Do you think a gun law would have? He is 14 not 3. You cannot keep anything from a 14 year old if he wants to get his hands on it.

Happy Camper 455
6
Points
Happy Camper 455 08/08/09 - 09:37 pm
0
0
Dang skyking!! You are

Dang skyking!! You are brilliant! You think there is mORE to this story? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! You think drugs were involved? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO....YA THINK....space cadet..

KSL
124791
Points
KSL 08/08/09 - 09:46 pm
0
0
Had a dream myself when I was

Had a dream myself when I was in the 3rd grade. Had a gun (shot gun unloaded) under my bed. Pulled it out and aimed it long after I had gone to bed (dream). (House was being remodeled). Answered my mother's questions about it. Didn't shoot at anyone. That means I did not get up and go shoot someone on a couch.

skyking1
0
Points
skyking1 08/08/09 - 09:48 pm
0
0
Angie, GA Regional has a room

Angie, GA Regional has a room with your name on it!

Roeschen
1
Points
Roeschen 08/08/09 - 09:50 pm
0
0
LYNNda - Why must you call

LYNNda - Why must you call people names and make ugly comments? Do you think your opinion is the only one worth reading? You must be a liberal dummycrat.

Equaltreatmentforall
49
Points
Equaltreatmentforall 08/08/09 - 11:47 pm
0
0
I smell drugs.

I smell drugs.

Back to Top

Top headlines

Augusta jobless rate worsens

Metro Augusta's unemployment rate increased to 8 percent in July, the Georgia Department of Labor announced Thursday.
Search Augusta jobs