A mother and daughter in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty Monday to murdering five of their family members in 2019.
“Shana Selena Decree, 47, and Dominique Kiaran Decree, will both serve five consecutive life sentences after pleading guilty but mentally ill to five counts of first-degree murder and one county [sic] of criminal conspiracy,” according to Fox 29.
In the Doylestown courtroom on Monday, President Judge Wallace H. Bateman said the harm they caused was “unimaginable,” the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
“This is horrible and tragic, because I do believe the two of you have expressed remorse. Unfortunately, that doesn’t bring them back. You can’t say, ‘sorry,’ and expect people to move on with their lives,” he stated.
The Inquirer article continued:
A case worker from Bucks County Children and Youth Services paid a visit to the Decree family’s apartment in Morrisville on Feb. 25, 2019. Inside the basement dwelling, the worker found the bodies of Shana Decree’s children Naa’Irah Smith, 25, and Damon Decree Jr., 13, as well as Shana’s sister, Jamilla Campbell, 42, of Trenton, and Campbell’s twin daughters, Imani and Erika Allen, both 9.
Shana and her 21-year-old daughter were found lying unresponsive in a bedroom and transported to a nearby hospital, the newspaper said.
“Authorities say autopsies determined four of the victims were killed by homicidal asphyxia, and Shana Decree’s sister was killed by homicidal ligature strangulation,” Fox reported.
Shana reportedly told police all of the victims “wanted to die,” and authorities noted that she and her daughter gave conflicting accounts regarding who killed who.
“Court-appointed psychologists and psychiatrists concluded that both defendants had severe mental illness, including schizoid personality disorder, major depressive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder,” ABC 6 reported.
In a statement, District Attorney Matt Weintraub said by murdering the five victims, Shana and Dominque have “decimated entire generations of their own family.”
“It tests my faith in humanity and in God. But I have to believe in both. The alternative is so much worse,” he concluded.