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Chad Cheever

Chad Cheever

Chad Cheever pleaded not guilty to charges of murder by abuse and second-degree assault on Tuesday in Linn County Circuit Court.

A 12-member jury trial, estimated to last 10 days, also was scheduled to start on Feb. 3.

Cheever is accused of crimes connected to the death of his relative, Tangent-area farm mechanic Don Whisenhunt.

Whisenhunt, 60, allegedly died because of massive injuries caused by a physical confrontation with Cheever the night of Sept. 20. Cheever allegedly left Whisenhunt outside overnight on Whisenhunt’s Tangent property, according to court paperwork.

Tami Jean Fulbright, Whisenhunt's daughter, has pleaded guilty to first-degree criminal mistreatment for her role in her father’s death. She allegedly withheld necessary and adequate medical treatment from him.

Fulbright was sentenced to 30 days in jail.

In a separate case from May, Cheever is charged with two counts of felony fourth-degree assault and an additional count of attempted fourth-degree assault.

Those charges stem from his conduct at the Linn County Jail, and the victims listed on court paperwork were recently inmates at the facility.

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Kyle Odegard can be reached at kyle.odegard@lee.net, 541-812-6077 or via Twitter @KyleOdegard.

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