A Lancaster County jury will deliberate Tuesday the fate of a man charged with killing an East Drumore Township mother and her teenage daughter during an early-morning break-in that also seriously injured another daughter.
During closing arguments Tuesday morning, First Assistant District Attorney Christopher P. Larsen asked the jury to convict 40-year-old Leeton Thomas of two counts of first-degree murder for the fatal stabbings of Lisa Scheetz and her 16-year-old daughter.
Larsen also asked for an attempted murder conviction regarding the stabbing of Scheetz’s 15-year-old daughter during the June 11, 2015, attack on Spring Valley Road. The jury will also consider a count of burglary.
The jury is expected to begin deliberations around lunchtime.
In closings, Larsen said Thomas cut a window screen in the Scheetz home, entered, then brutally stabbed the mother and two daughters. Larsen called the killings ‘assassinations’ to avoid pending prosecution for alleged sex abuse of a girl.
“The goal was to go in and get rid of the witnesses, to get rid of the problem,” Larsen told jurors, at one point showing them the large knife which was broken in the attacks. “There is nothing else to consider but murder one.”
The surviving daughter, now 17, testified during the trial, now in its second week, that “Pie” – a nickname for Thomas – was the killer.
“She knew Mr. Pie like family. Look at him,” Larsen told jurors. “He’s very distinctive. She knew exactly who he was. There is no mistaking him.”
Larsen also showed jurors bleached-stained clothing state police found at Thomas’ home – close to the Scheetz home – when they arrived there about 3 a.m., following a 2:20 a.m. 911 call.
When police first drove by Thomas’ home, lights in a laundry room and bathroom were on. When troopers stopped at the home minutes later, those lights were off, Larsen said.
Thomas’ defense team suggested in closing arguments that someone else committed the crimes, and asked the jury to return not-guilty verdicts.
Thomas, in a crème-colored shirt and brown pants, watched closing arguments attentively, at times whispering to his attorneys.
State police Trooper Todd McCurdy filed charges.
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