Pennsylvania mom, daughter sentenced to life in prison after killing five relatives

Pennsylvania mother and daughter Shana and Dominique Decree admitted in court to killing their family

Loading the player...

A Pennsylvania mother and daughter have been sentenced to life in prison after they killed five of their relatives as part of a murder-suicide pact.

Shana Selena Decree and her daughter, Dominique Kiaran Decree, admitted in court on Monday to killing five of their relatives last year, according to the Bucks County District Attorney’s office. The victims were Shana’s two children, Naa’Irah Smith, 25, and Damon Decree Jr., 13. Shana’s sister, Jamilla Campbell, 42, and Campbell’s 9-year-old twin daughters, Imani and Erika Allen, also died.

Read More: Chicago mother denied bond after allegedly killing daughter, 5

An autopsy determined that Erika, Imani, Damon, and Smith were killed by homicidal asphyxia. Campbell’s death was by homicidal ligature strangulation. All five of the deaths, which took place from Feb. 23-29, were ruled a homicide.

Shana, 47, and Dominique, 21, negotiated a plea deal with prosecutors that will have them serve five consecutive life sentences. They pled guilty but mentally ill to five counts of first-degree murder and one count of criminal conspiracy.

Damon Decree Sr. spoke at the hearing and was despondent that he would never see his son grow up.

At one point, he stated his mind was preoccupied with “thoughts of what might have been.”

Pennsylvania Shana Decree Dominique Decree thegrio.com
(Credit: Decree Family/Bucks County District Attorney’s Office)

Bucks County Chief Deputy District Attorney Christopher W. Rees called the case a “heartbreaking” one.

“If you have kids, go hug your kids,” Rees said. “If you have parents who are still around, if you have brothers and sisters go give them a hug. If you can’t give them a hug, give them a call, send then a text, send them an email.”

Initially, the women denied any involvement in the brutal slayings and alleged a burglar had committed the crimes. However, Shana allegedly told police that she and her relatives all “wanted to die.”

Mental health professionals determined that the Decree’s suffered from mental health issues. That is the only reason why they were not subject to the death penalty.

Read More: New California law prompted by crash that killed Kobe Bryant

”As it stands, they both will spend the rest of their lives in prison cells separated from the rest of us, as punishment,” District Attorney Matt Weintraub said.

Have you subscribed to theGrio’s podcast “Dear Culture”? Download our newest episodes now!

Loading the player...

Share