PITTSYLVANIA COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — The family of a Wythe County Sheriff’s Deputy, who was shot and killed 26 years ago, is urging the Parole Board to keep his convicted killer behind bars.
On Dec. 6, 1994, Deputy Cliff Dicker was serving a warrant on Christopher Shawn Wheeler, who then shot Dicker in the face; took the deputy’s gun; and shot him in the head a second time, killing him.
The teen was tried as an adult and sentenced to 43 years in prison. Wheeler had a parole hearing scheduled on Wednesday, July 15.
The same day as Wheeler’s parole hearing, Dicker’s family held a protest near Green Rock Correctional Center.
“My dad was a jokester,” said Karla Turman, Dicker’s daughter. “He loved his granddaughters. He had two grandchildren before he passed away.”
“That’s what really I remember him being. He was a great family man.”
Dicker’s family relives the pain of losing him every time Christopher Wheeler is up for parole.
“It’s ripping it open all over again,” said step-daughter Jennifer LaRue-Ibrahim. “We don’t seem to get any peace because of it.”
“I had to forgive [Wheeler] a long time ago,” said Turman, “and it was not for him, it was for me so that I could have some peace. That does not mean that I’m not anxious about him getting out.”
“We have to relive this every year,” said LaRue-Ibrahim. “The loss of Cliff, having to fight to keep his killer in prison. It’s hard.”
Wheeler has been eligible for parole since 2003, and while it has never been granted, Dicker’s daughters believe that with so many inmates getting paroled since the pandemic started, this could be his year, and they hope the board will hear their objections.
“This is the first time that we’ve done this,” said LaRue-Ibrahim, referring to their protest, “and it’s just because we feel he has a better chance of getting out this time because of what’s going on, and we want to protest it as much as we can to let them know that we don’t agree that he should be out.”
WFXR News attempted to contact an attorney for Wheeler, but unfortunately, we were not able to track them down.
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