KEY POINTS

  • Dennis Chambers, 61, bludgeoned his 24-year-old wife with a hammer
  • He also smothered her child to death
  • Chambers is diagnosed with cancer and is expected to die in jail 

A Virginia man who bludgeoned his wife with a hammer after suspecting her of having several extramarital affairs, and fatally smothered her infant daughter was sentenced to life behind bars. 

A Gloucester County court handed the life sentence Tuesday to Dennis Chambers, 61, for brutally assaulting Corena Chambers, 24, and murdering her 5-month-old daughter after learning she wasn't his biological child, 13 News Now reported. 

According to a criminal complaint obtained by the outlet, Corena was so badly beaten that she was left with "severe facial injuries, including fractures, severe blood loss, and further wounds resulting in her inability to speak or coherently communicate with officers. Quantities of dried and wet red fluid and wetness consistent with blood and urine were found on various items around where Mrs. Chambers was positioned on the floor and on the bed area." 

The crimes took place on July 7, 2020, at the couple's home on Aberdeen Creek Road. Deputies were called to the residence by Dennis' brother, Johnny Musick, after Corena's bedroom door was found locked from inside and the baby could not be heard from inside the room. 

Upon arriving, the deputies forced their way into the bedroom and found the baby dead on a bed, whilst Corena was found positioned on the floor next to the bed, "with copious items piled on top of her," 13 Times Now reported. Dennis had fled the scene by then. 

Corena was flown to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital where she underwent emergency surgery to alleviate swelling on her brain. She reportedly spent several months in a coma and still lives in a long-term care facility. 

Deputies arrested Dennis the next day at the Wahrani Nature Trail located on Eltham Road in New Kent County after someone reported spotting his vehicle there, according to the outlet. When he was questioned about the assault and murder, Dennis confessed to striking Corena with a hammer and smothering her baby with a cotton burp cloth, according to Law and Crime. 

"Any time you have a young defenseless child that’s involved in some type of horrific crime like this it’s very difficult for everyone involved," Gloucester County Sheriff Darrell Warren said at the time of the discovery, according to Law and Crime. 

Dennis was charged with second-degree murder. Following his arrest, his neighbors told the deputies Corena had engaged in several extra-marital affairs with "various men" and that "he would be seen weeping outside the residence," Law and Crime reported, citing court documents. 

On top of the prison sentence, Dennis was given a 40-year additional prison term for bludgeoning Corena with a hammer. It was found Dennis had cancer and therefore was likely to die in prison. 

hammer-682767_1920 Representation. A sledgehammer. Photo: Pixabay