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Chad Cheever

Chad Cheever

Chad Adam Cheever, 45, pleaded not guilty to charges of murder by abuse and second-degree assault in Linn County Circuit Court on Monday afternoon.

Cheever was formally charged with the crimes on Monday, after a grand jury returned a true bill about two weeks ago.

He is accused of killing his relative, Tangent-area farm mechanic Don Whisenhunt, in September. Cheever was initially charged with manslaughter and second-degree assault.

Based on the new charge, Judge Daniel Murphy ordered Cheever to be held in the Linn County Jail without bail.

The next hearing in the case is scheduled for Jan. 25.

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

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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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