Parole denied for Woodleaf man who murdered father
Published 12:00 am Friday, July 27, 2012
A Woodleaf man in prison for brutally murdering his father in 1974 has been denied parole, the state’s Parole Commission announced.
Roger Lawrence Wetmore, now 56, was originally sentenced to die for stabbing to death and then beheading Edwin Hall Wetmore on Feb. 8, 1974, at the family home off Barber-Woodleaf Road.
But after the U.S. Supreme Court abolished the mandatory death penalty law in North Carolina, Wetmore was retried in Randolph County and resentenced to life in prison in 1978.
Under state sentencing law in effect at the time, however, convicts given life sentences became eligible for parole. Under current state law, someone sentenced to life in prison is not eligible for parole.
Roger Wetmore told police he knocked on his parents’ bedroom door around midnight on Feb. 8.
He told his father to wake up and get dressed. As the elder Wetmore got out of bed, Roger Wetmore assaulted his father, stabbing him more than 40 times with a hunting knife.
Edwin’s wife, Dorothy Wetmore, told police she lay in bed, “sometimes looking away, sometimes watching.”
Roger Wetmore ordered her to help him move his father’s body. The two dragged the body through the home and out to the back deck, where they put Edwin Wetmore into his pickup truck.
Roger Wetmore used an ax to severe his father’s head.
Two days later, Roger Wetmore and his brother, Jerry, who was living in Wilmington, reported their father missing. Within hours the sons told investigators they found their father’s truck abandoned at Kelsey Park.
During his trial, Roger Wetmore said his father was involved in an outer space conspiracy. Roger Wetmore also said he was under the influence of his mother and a computer from outer space when he killed his father.
Dorothy Wetmore was never prosecuted for being an accessory after the fact of murder because she was hospitalized for mental illness, according to records.
Roger Wetmore is currently imprisoned at the close-security Maury Correctional Institution in Greene County. His next parole review will be July 21, 2015, according to a notice from the state.