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Stepmom blames daughter's murder on early prison release

Posted at 11:26 PM, Nov 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-01 07:05:26-05

PRINCE GEORGE COUNTY, Va. -- Shera Gormley, whose stepdaughter Corinne Lee Huddleston's remains were found in Surry County November 12, said the judicial system failed her family twice and that her daughter should still be alive.

Huddleston, 20, disappeared in early October.

For weeks the Prince George County woman, who was attached to her cell phone, would have no communication with friends or family.

"For her to stop communication, stop Facebook and all of that, that was not normal behavior,” stepmom Shera Gormley said.

She said they had gut feelings that something bad had happened.

In mid-November those misgivings were realized when Huddleston's remains were discovered in the Spring Grove area of Surry County.

The heavily wooded area was very close to property where now-murder suspect and registered sex offender Benjamin Chiarky has ties, according to Crime Insider sources.

"Corinne is deeply missed and this is unfortunate, but you know we can't help but be angry at the justice system,” said Gormley. “Because he was given 25 years and served less than six for raping and abducting a 14-year-old. It’s unimaginable."

Court records show Chiarky was convicted of those charges in 2008, and released in 2014 after the system said he had met the threshold for good behavior.

The strict probation rules were lifted in 2017, and Huddleston and Chiarky would meet soon afterward.

Her stepmom confirms Huddleston had also gotten into some trouble earlier this summer and if the judicial system would follow their own sentencing, then her daughter would be alive

"If she would've been left in jail,” said Gormley. “She wouldn't have been in the position if he would've been in prison. This wouldn't have happened. It's not just him. It's anybody. Bottom line is, she wouldn't have had the chance to be murdered."