Man gets death penalty for killing Lancaster County woman, teen daughter

Leeton Jahwanza Thomas
(Lancaster County Prison/LNP via AP)

LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) – A Lancaster County jury decided Wednesday night that a man convicted Tuesday of fatally stabbing a woman and her daughter should receive the death penalty.

Leeton J. Thomas, 40, of Quarryville, was found guilty on two counts of first-degree murder and all other charges related to the June 2015 killings of 44-year-old Lisa Scheetz and her daughter.

The jury started deliberations over the death sentence around 4 p.m. Wednesday and revealed the verdict just over four hours later.

Thomas was also found guilty of attempted homicide for severely wounding Scheetz’s then-15-year-old daughter during an early morning burglary. The girl, now 17, was able to escape the family’s home in East Drumore Township. She testified at trial and identified Thomas as the killer.

In closing arguments Tuesday morning, prosecutors called the killings “assassinations” to avoid the pending prosecution. The defense suggested someone else committed the crimes.

“The jury’s verdict is the only right and just verdict for a case as disturbing as this,” First Assistant District Attorney Christopher Larsen said in a release.

Thomas will be formally sentenced Friday morning by Lancaster County President Judge Dennis Reinaker.

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