Mother Shana and Daughter Dominique Decree have both pleaded guilty but mentally ill to five counts of first degree murder and one count criminal conspiracy.
The charges stem from the February 2019 killings of five of their own family members. Police found the bodies of the victims in a single room at the Robert Morris Apartments.
Among the five were two of Shana’s children, her sister Jamilla Campbell, and Campbell’s nine-year-old twin daughters.
For their crimes, Shana and Dominique must each serve five consecutive life sentences.
Bucks County District Attorney Matt Weintraub said they nearly faced the death penalty. Prosecutors had twice previously asked for an extension on their decision to pursue capital punishment.
“Today, we mourn with the families of Erica and Imani Allen, Damon Decree, Naa’irah Smith, and Jamilla Campbell, who were all murdered by mother and daughter Shana and Dominique Decree,” said Weintraub. “Were it not for their severe mental illness, both would face the death penalty. As it stands, they both will spend the rest of their lives in prison cells separated from the rest of us, as punishment.”
The conclusion on the Decrees’ mental health came after separate mental health professionals evaluated them.
Shana and Decree gave conflicting accounts on who killed who to investigators. Shana told them everyone in the apartment, including the children, were openly discussing suicide.
Ultimately, the mother and daughter have each been held criminally responsible for all five deaths, regardless of any finer details.
“By murdering, Erica, Imani, Damon, Naa’irah, and Jamilla, they’ve decimated entire generations of their own family,” said Weintraub. “It tests my faith in humanity and in God. But I have to believe in both. The alternative is so much worse.”