Case Update: Virginia Man Sentenced to Life for Hammer Attack on Wife & Smothering Death of Baby Emmy Chambers

Corena and Emmy Chambers
Corena and Emmy Chambers.

Justice shouldn’t feel this hollow.

Yesterday, 61-year-old Dennis Chambers was sentenced for his vicious hammer attack on his then-24-year-old wife, Corena Chambers, and the smothering death of her daughter, Emmy, in July of 2020.

Corena was discovered, gravely injured, in the couple’s locked bedroom after her brother, Johnny Musick, called police for a welfare check. The family lived in a home on Aberdeen Creek Road in Gloucester, Virginia.

The body of Corena’s five-month-old daughter, Emmy Chambers, was found on the bed. She had been smothered with a cotton burp cloth.

Dennis had reportedly recently found out that he was not Emmy’s biological child, although it is unknown if this was the motive behind Corena’s attack and Emmy’s murder. Corena spent several months in the hospital and then a rehab facility after undergoing emergency brain surgery. Corena endured two strokes during her recovery process, which included relearning how to walk and talk. She has been permanently disabled by her injuries and still lives in a long-term care facility.

Dennis Chambers mugshot
Dennis Chambers’ booking photo.
(Gloucester Sheriff’s Office)

After a brief manhunt, Dennis was arrested. In February of this year, he pleaded guilty to the aggravated malicious wounding of his wife and the murder of baby Emmy.

At his “swift” sentencing hearing in Gloucester Circuit Court on the afternoon of Tuesday, July 27, 2021, Dennis appeared in poor health, using a wheelchair.

“I’m sorry for all I’ve done,” he tearfully told the court before the judge delivered his sentence. “I deserve what I’m getting.”

The judge sentenced Dennis to 40 years in prison for his vicious assault on Corena and life in prison for Emmy’s murder, saying he strayed from the sentencing guidelines because the murder victim was a helpless infant.

Prior to receiving his sentence, Dennis told the judge, “I already have one death sentence.” Reportedly, Dennis was recently diagnosed with cancer and does not have long to live.

See what I meant about justice feeling hollow?

I recently covered Emmy’s story in Patreon-exclusive bonus minisode #4. These bonus minisodes are available to patrons who pledge $10 or more a month.

Click here for my ongoing coverage of Emmy’s story.

  • Corena and Emmy Chambers
  • Emmy Chambers and her mama, Corena. (Facebook)
  • Emmy. (Facebook)
  • Sleepy Emmy. (Facebook)
  • Emmy Chambers
  • Emmy. (Facebook)
  • Emmy. (Facebook)
  • Corena and Emmy Chambers
  • Corena Chambers. (Facebook)
  • Corena Chambers recovering from her attack. (WAVY)

Sources: Virginia Judiciary Online Case Information System 2.0, 13News Now, WAVY, the Gazette Journal, Law & Crime

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