On Tuesday June 13th a Lancaster County Jury in the State of Pennsylvania returned a verdict of guilty on two counts of first degree murder against 40 year Jamaica National Leeton Thomas .
Thomas, convicted on his 40th birthday, faces a penalty hearing at 9 a.m. Wednesday at which the jury will sentence him to life in prison without parole or death by lethal injection.
The jury deliberated less than three hours before finding Thomas guilty of first-degree, or premeditated, murder for the June 2015 stabbings of Lisa Scheetz, 44, and her daughter, Hailey, 16.
On his arrest Thomas reportedly told Troopers to shoot him in the head.
According to Lancasteronline.com, the jury of six men and six women heard four days of testimony as the prosecution sought to portray Thomas, a father of four who had worked as a home re-modeler, as a homicidal monster bent on eliminating witnesses in his sexual molestation case.
Scheetz and daughter Hailey, attacked while watching a movie on Netflix, died quickly from horrendous stab wounds in the early hours of June 11, 2015, testimony established. State police found a basement window screen sliced and removed. As the East Drumore Township mother and two teen daughters were watching a Netflix movie late…A 15-year-old daughter survived multiple stab wounds. After the attacker fled, she told rescuers that Thomas, once a family friend, was the killer. “Look at him,” said Larsen, indicating Thomas. “He’s very distinctive. She knew exactly who he was. There’s no mistaking him.”
A native of Jamaica, Thomas is a black man of average height and weighing about 230 pounds. Larsen said Thomas broke into the apartment intent on getting rid of witnesses who were going to testify against him at a court hearing two weeks away. “This was nothing less than an assassination,” Larsen told the jury. “He went in there thinking he could wipe them all out.”
But Conrad said state police focused on Thomas, whose nickname was Pie, without investigating the possibility that a black neighbor who had a record of indecent assault could be the guilty party. The teen survivor “says it’s Mr. Pie, and everyone is supposed to believe it,” Conrad told the jury.
Throughout the trial, clothing worn by the attacker was a point of contention. Conrad emphasized that the survivor’s description of her attacker’s clothing did not match what investigators found soaking in bleach in Thomas’ home about an hour after the killing.
Conrad pointed out that the survivor said her attacker wore shorts and a T-shirt. But state police did not find those items. Instead investigators found a set of men’s clothing, including sweatpants, a dark hooded sweatshirt, black socks and a cap, soaking in a washing machine. A trooper said the water smelled heavily of bleach.
Prosecutor Larsen, in his closing, displayed the sweatshirt and sweatpants, saying the significant stains on each article show they were doused in bleach. More than two months after the slayings, police recovered black latex gloves and a face-hiding balaclava mask in the trap of a toilet pipe in the Conowingo Road home Thomas and his family were renting at the time of the slayings.
Conrad said Larsen didn’t ask the survivor detailed questions about what her attacker was wearing because he was afraid he wouldn’t like the answers. “She wasn’t able to get all those details,” Larsen conceded, “but, ladies and gentlemen, you heard what you needed to hear. She knows the people in her life, and she was able to tell you exactly who did this.”
Larsen also leaned on a state trooper’s observation that lights were on in Thomas’ house at a time when Thomas’ wife, Donna, testified that they were both in bed. Larsen showed the jury the police cruiser’s dash cam video. He said the video showed a light on in the bathroom and the laundry room. The prosecutor also emphasized testimony by an expert that Hailey’s blood and DNA were on a man’s sneaker retrieved from the washer. Conrad contended that DNA labs make mistakes.
Larsen roamed the courtroom in his closing, displaying the suspected murder weapon only inches away from the jurors, walking over to Thomas to make a point and even sitting at the witness stand to evoke empathy for the teen survivor who had struggled to testify last week. “Imagine what is going through her mind as she is sitting here,” said Larsen, who made his summation without holding notes. Conrad, by contrast, often referred to a notepad and kept his distance from the jury.
The jury got the case about 11:45 a.m. Tuesday after Reinaker instructed them on the law. Shortly before 2 p.m., the jury returned to the courtroom with a question about reasonable doubt and a request to view a diagram of the crime scene. In explaining reasonable doubt, Reinaker said the jury may not convict unless all 12 members conclude that the prosecution proved its case beyond a reasonable doubt. He allowed the jury to take the crime scene diagram into the deliberation room. About a half hour later, the jury informed the judge it had reached a verdict.
WHY TALK ABOUT THIS CASE ?
Mister Thomas was entitled to the presumption of innocence up to the time he was convicted in a court of law.
Yes juries do make mistakes , Police and Prosecutors do act outside the law sometime for a variety of reasons, not the least of which are race and class.
Thomas’ attorney hinted at race as a factor , suggesting that state police targeted him because he was a black man .
What was never challenged in a tangible way is the DNA evidence found on the pair of men’s shoes the police found in mister Thomas’ house.
Suggesting that Labs make mistake is not a defense against irrefutable scientific evidence.
Mister Thomas had motive ,They were witnesses to sexual crimes he was alleged to have committed and were about to testify against him.
Irrefutable DNA evidence was found in his house .
Black latex gloves and a face-hiding balaclava mask were found in the trap of a toilet pipe where Thomas resided.
And his state of mind after his arrest are all indicators of guilt.
Thomas told officers to shoot him knowing full well that the system of justice he was about to face was a far cry from that which exist in his native Jamaica, where witnesses are summarily slaughtered ending in case closed for lack of prosecution.
I chose to talk about this case not because of what Thomas did , or because he is a native of Jamaica .
I chose to talk about this case because what Thomas allegedly told state troopers after he was arrested.
“Shoot me in my head” !!!
Contrary to what anyone tells you , that was a shocking confession of guilt. An innocent person cannot wait to prove his innocence in a court of law, not wanting to take the easy way out and give up on their life.
That is why many murderers who kill innocent people take their own lives on the approach of police in the United States.
For years I have spoken to the reasons Jamaica has such barbaric murderers.
I have indicated all throughout that the reason these monsters kill is because they believe they will never be held accountable.
Leeton Thomas knew he was not going to subvert the court system, he knew after his arrest that the gig was up , and he knew without a shadow of a doubt that once convicted he would never see the streets again.
Those are the conditions which affect the minds of murderers when they take the lives of innocents, but are too bitch -ass cowards when it’s time to face the music.
It was that knowledge that he would never see the streets again which caused former NFL payer Aaron Hernandez take his own life in prison.
That knowledge that they will be caught, and once caught they will never see the streets again ,is the best deterrent against these monsters.
Literally every day there is another bloody mass murder in Jamaica , or two or three .
Despite the incessant shedding of innocent blood the Government’s response to it is a bill which is supposed to allow police more latitude to go after murderers,.
The problem is that the bill is just that … a bill, not a law, .
Mind you, even if passed, the would-be law, would allow law enforcement to cordon and search designated areas , as if that would do anything substantive about crime.
The laughable thing about the bill is that it is still held up awaiting input from trial lawyers, JFJ an anti-police lobby , The Norman Manley Law School , a liberal criminal coddling entity among other so called stake holders.
A literal tale of two cities as it relates to crime .
For Leeton Thomas it is indeed the worst of times , and so it should be.