Man Who Killed Girlfriend in Atlantic City Stabbing Sentenced to Prison

Written By Hannah Vanbiber on July 6, 2023
dealer roulette at hard rock atlantic city

Frankie Lane, a 61-year-old man from Philadelphia, was sentenced last week for the fatal stabbing of his girlfriend in an Atlantic City casino in 2021.

The crime occurred in the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.

Lane was sentenced to 20 years in prison for first-degree manslaughter after agreeing to a plea deal.

Police quickly tracked down suspect after 2021 stabbing

In 2021, Lane and his girlfriend, 57-year-old Sharon Whaley, were seen on resort surveillance checking into the Atlantic City hotel shortly before 6:30 p.m. local time.

Video footage shows the two entering a room on the 34th floor of the Hard Rock Atlantic City. No one entered or left the room until the next morning. Lane alone, carrying a small bag. He purchased a bus ticket and traveled back to Philadelphia.

Police responded that day after a housekeeper found Whaley unresponsive underneath a sheet with a knife laying on top of the sheet.

The small bag that Lane left the hotel with did not make it to Philadelphia with him. Police found it in a trash can near the Atlantic City Bus Terminal but did not publicly release the contents.

Sentencing and plea deal for Atlantic City casino crime

Lane was charged with murder and weapons offenses and told police he was in a relationship with Whaley. He confessed to the crime as part of a plea deal to reduce his sentence. He admitted to stabbing Whaley multiple times during an altercation.

Whaley’s family agreed to the plea deal through the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office. The deal includes a lesser charge of first-degree manslaughter, which carries a possible prison sentence of up to 30 years.

A judge agreed to sentence Lane to 20 years. He will be eligible for parole after he serves 85% of his sentence. New Jersey has a No Early Release Act that requires offenders guilty of violent crimes to serve at least 85% of their sentence.

The No Early Release Act means that Lane will not be eligible for parole until he serves 17 years.

Crime rates put Atlantic City in dangerous territory

According to, Atlantic City is in the 10th percentile of safe cities in the US.

That means it’s only safer than 10% of all US cities. Not great.

On average, over six out of every 1,000 residents are victims of violent crimes annually. Property crime rates are higher at about 25 victims per 1,000 residents.

Photo by Wayne Parry / AP Photo
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Hannah Vanbiber

Hannah Vanbiber is a contributing writer for PlayNJ after starting her journalism career in Chattanooga, Tennessee. From covering local sports, entertainment and business in East Tennessee, Hannah now covers legal gambling for New Jersey and New York as well as covering women's sports and sports betting in the New York metropolitan area.

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