The mother and daughter duo charged with murdering five of their family members in Morrisville last February have pleaded not guilty.
Shana Decree, 46, and Dominique Decree, 20, appeared in court Tuesday for their formal arraignment hearing. Each faces five counts of criminal homicide.
The District Attorney’s Office is preparing for a trial, but undecided about pursuing the death penalty. The DA and Decree’s defense attorneys agreed to set a tentative trial date for Jun. 8, 2020.
Deputy District Attorney Christopher Rees said the motivation for the killings is still unknown.
Morrisville Borough police officers first discovered the horrific scene nearly a year ago. They found seven people packed into a single room on the first floor of an apartment at the Robert Morris Apartments. Five of them were dead.
Two of the victims were Shana Decree’s own children, Naa’Irah Smith, 25, and Damon Decree Jr., 13. Also among the bodies were Shana Decree’s sister Jamilla Campbell, 42, and Campbell’s 9-year-old twin daughters, Imani and Erika Allen.
Former Bucks County Coroner Joseph Campbell later determined four of the victims died of asphyxiation. Only Jamilla Campbell died of strangulation.
The other two people, Shana and Dominique Decree, were disoriented, but alive, according to police. Medical personnel transported both to the hospital. Shana Decree was experiencing seizures shortly after being found, according to authorities.
All seven people were living in the apartment together, along with Jamilla Campbell’s son Joshua Campbell. Joshua was not home at the time of the incident.
Investigators asked Shana and Dominique Decree questions separately, where they gave conflicting stories, according to court documents. Shana Decree told authorities everyone in the household were openly discussing suicide.
Each admitted to killing at least one of the victims, though they gave different accounts about who killed who. More information may come out, whether one eventually decides to plead guilty, or at trial.