A Morrisville mother and daughter pleaded not guilty to killing five relatives last week, including three children in their apartment in 2019 last week.
Shana Decree, 46 and her 20-year-old daughter Dominique Decree were once again arraigned on their charges — five counts each of first degree murder, one count each of criminal conspiracy to commit first degree murder by President Judge Wallace H. Bateman Jr, authorities said.
Authorities found the bodies of three children and two adults in what they said was a trashed apartment in January of 2019 and soon after arrested the two and charging them in the deaths.
All five victims were found in a bedroom in their apartment at the Robert Morris Apartments, authorities said. The discovery came as result of the surprise visit by a social worker, court documents show.
The victims were Shana’s children, Naa’Irah Smith, 25, and Damon Decree Jr., 13, both of Morrisville; Shana Decree’s sister Jamilla Campbell, of Trenton, New Jersey; and Campbell’s 9-year-old twin daughters, Imani and Erika Allen.
.Authorities said four of the victims were suffocated, while one was strangled.
Prosecutors now have until March 20 to decide on whether to seek the death penalty. Deputy DA Chris Rees requested an extension to file the aggravating factors notice. Typically, the formal arraignment is the deadline for such a filing, but delays have occurred in past, the District Attorney’s office said.
Shana Decree told police “everyone wanted to die” according to the probable cause affidavit filed in 2019.
Dominique Decree’s attorney, John Fioravanti, Jr told CNN he hasn’t ruled out a change in plea in response to questions involving his client’ mental health and could not comment further.
The trial is scheduled to begin on June 8.