Friday 23 August, 2019

Jamaican man gets death penalty despite mom's plea for mercy

Leeton Thomas

Leeton Thomas

A Pennsylvania jury has decided on the death penalty for a Jamaican man convicted in the stabbing deaths of a woman and her 16-year-old daughter.

Lancaster County prosecutors say 40-year-old Leeton Thomas broke into a basement apartment and stabbed 44-year-old Lisa Sheetz and her daughter Hailey because they were scheduled to testify against him in a child sex assault case.

Thomas was convicted Tuesday of two counts of first-degree murder after 2 ½ hours of jury deliberation.

The surviving daughter, now 17, identified Thomas in the June 2015 attack during trial. His defense attorney argued there were discrepancies in testimony and physical evidence.

LNP newspaper reported Thomas' mother had begged jurors to spare her son's life Wednesday, saying "please save him."

“I gave him life,” Sharon Frances Campbell, Thomas' mother, was quoted as saying. “I'm begging you, please save him. Please.”

Defense attorneys also cited mitigating factors such as poverty and abuse they say Thomas endured growing up in Jamaica.

Thomas will be formally sentenced Friday morning.

 

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