A Pennsylvania man sentenced to death didn’t have much to say for himself when asked about his fate on Tuesday morning.
Davone Anderson, 27, was convicted by Cumberland County jurors in May of this year of murdering two different girlfriends—the mothers of his children—in two separate shooting incidents. The defendant was also found guilty of killing an unborn child because one of the women he admittedly shot was pregnant at the time.
He was found guilty on two charges of murder in the first degree and one charge of murder of an unborn child in the first degree.
According to Harrisburg, Pa. ABC affiliate WHTM, Anderson shot and killed 23-year-old Sydney Parmelee in early July 2020 because he thought she was cheating on him. Later that same month, he shot and killed 23-year-old Kaylee Lyons, who had recently become pregnant. He was convinced she would turn him in for the first slaying.
Jurors were also asked to determine the defendant’s fate.
Jurors were deadlocked on whether the defendant should die for taking Parmelee’s life on July 5, 2020. In the end, he was given a life sentence for that crime. As for Lyons’ death on July 30, 2020, the jury was far less equivocal.
Anderson was unanimously sentenced to death.
“We appreciate the time and effort the jury put into their verdict,” Cumberland County District Attorney Sean McCormack said after jurors sealed Anderson’s fate on May 10, 2022. “To return a verdict of death is no simple task.”
On May 31, 2022, the defendant was formerly sentenced by Cumberland County Judge Edward Guido.
During the hearing, the judge asked Anderson if he had anything to say to the families of the victims, up to and including the children they leave behind, according to a report by PennLive.com.
The defendant replied: “No, sir.”
During trial, Anderson’s defense sought to cast each shooting as crimes of passion committed in moments of intense rage.
“The burden of proof stands with the prosecution,” defense attorney Heidi Eakin said. “We are conceding he fired the guns.”
Much of the testimony during trial concerned the contours of the relationship between the two victims and the defendant. One witness described their relationship as polyamorous. Eakin sought to cast it as a “love triangle” that was both “tragic and twisted.”
McCormack disputed that the two women did not get along by noting that Parmelee took care of Lyons’ child.
Parmelee was ultimately killed in Lyons’ house after she and the defendant were on the outs. But, he said, and this was key, he had made a decision to spend some time with Lyons already.
“The 23-year-old mother of two, begging the father not to leave her,” McCormack told jurors. “Is that the kind of thing that caused the defendant to become enraged and inflamed?”
Parmelee’s body was found slumped over an ottoman with a purple-handled pistol near her hands.
“Sydney, I love you,” the deceased woman’s friend Kalia Stallings said at a vigil in August 2020. “You were my best friend, my sister. You were my confidant, my rock and my soul.”
Anderson would later lead the young mother’s family and friends to believe she had killed herself.
Exactly 25 days later, Lyons was killed in the same room, in the same way, with a gunshot wound to her head.
“There’s a void,” Lyons’ father, Temonia Thomas, said in court during sentencing. “There’s a void. There’s a void. There’s only a few people who can say they understand how I feel.”
[images: Anderson via Cumberland County Prison; Lyons and Parmelee via Cumberland Police Department]
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