GLOUCESTER, Va. (WAVY) — A Gloucester man charged in the severe beating of his wife and the killing of her infant daughter admitted to the crimes Tuesday in court.
Dennis Chambers, 60, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the killing of 5-month-old Emmy Chambers, and aggravated malicious wounding in the bludgeoning of his wife Corena, 24.
Chambers admitted to smothering the child and beating Corena with a hammer on July 7 at their home on Aberdeen Creek Road. Corena was seriously injured.
The prosecution had a confession as well as DNA evidence against Chambers, who was tearful Tuesday afternoon in court.
A revised indictment just a few weeks ago enhanced the charges from what he was originally charged with: second-degree murder and malicious wounding.
With tears running down his face, Chambers responded to the judge’s questions in a weakened voice. Officials say he has been in poor health since his arrest on July 8.
“The defendant said the child was alive and kicking prior to his placing the cloth over her nose prior to applying pressure for two to three minutes,” said Gloucester Commonwealth’s Attorney John Dusewicz.
“Chambers confessed to using a ball-peen hammer to strike his wife Corena Chambers in the head multiple times,” Dusewicz said.
Investigators used DNA to match evidence on the handle of the hammer and the blood on the head of the hammer to Chambers and his wife.
“She has not fully recovered from these injuries, and has continuously been either hospitalized or been in a rehabilitation center, only recently recovering her power of speech,” Dusewicz said.
No family members were present for the guilty pleas.
Chambers has no criminal history. He faces a maximum life sentence on each of the two guilty pleas. He will be sentenced on June 14.