YORK, Pa. (AP) — A man has been sentenced to two consecutive life prison terms without possibility of parole in the shooting deaths of a man and a woman in a Pennsylvania home almost four years ago.
Paul Henry III, 43, was sentenced Friday in York County in the September 2016 slayings of 31-year-old Foday Cheeks and 26-year-old Danielle Taylor. Common Pleas Judge Michael Bortner also imposed an additional 10 to 20 years on a robbery conviction.
The new sentence came after Henry's death sentence was thrown out due to an error made by the jury on the verdict slip. Bortner said Friday the court “cannot imagine the terror suffered” by the victims and the four survivors who were left alive at the house where the murders took place.
Bortner said he had to balance aggravating factors, such as slayings in the presence of two minors, indiscriminate gunfire and an apparent pursuit of drugs, with mitigating factors such as Henry's service in the Marine Corps, lack of criminal history and decision to aid recovery efforts in New York City following the September 11, 2001 attacks.
He said the defendant may have been acting under duress from drug addiction and may have believed his wife was having an affair with Cheeks.
Defense attorneys have said they plan to appeal the conviction of Henry, who testified earlier that his wife was the shooter, contradicting the testimony of four eyewitnesses. His wife was found dead in her prison cell two days after the slayings.