DAUPHIN COUNTY, Pa. (WHTM)– A Harrisburg gunman who killed two people and injured multiple others during a home invasion before leading police on a chase in Dauphin County will spend the rest of his life in jail.
Gregory Greene, 33, will be spending multiple life sentences and an additional term of 21.5 to 45 years in a state correctional institution after being sentenced by Judge William T. Tully on Monday, the Dauphin County District Attorney’s Office announced.
Greene pleaded guilty but mentally ill to two counts of first-degree murder, three counts of attempted murder, burglary, and other offenses. He underwent mental health evaluations that showed that he was mentally ill but not insane when he committed the murders, the DA’s Office says.
“Legal insanity is a complete defense,” Dauphin County District Attorney Fran Chardo said. If evaluations showed Greene was insane at the time, Chardo said he should be found not guilty because of insanity.
However, Chardo said a mentally plea is not a complete defense. It can influence sentencing, but in a case this serious it did not.
“There was a mandatory minimum sentence of life imprisonment,” Chardo said. “The Department of Corrections will take into account though, that this was a guilty but mentally ill sentence in classifying the defendant and deciding where he should serve his sentence, which penitentiary to go to and deciding the treatment should proceed when serving his life term.”
The two people shot and killed by Greene inside a home along the 1300 block of Liberty Street in Feb. 2022 were identified as his sister, Meredith Greene, and her partner Tyler Thames.
According to prosecutors, around 6 a.m., Greene entered the home, even though there was a protection from abuse order against him, while everyone inside was sleeping. He went to his sister Brittonie Meredith’s bedroom on the second floor and shot her in the face before going down the hall and shooting Meredith.
Before she passed, prosecutors say Meredith was able to get into her mother’s room and shut the door, potentially saving the parent’s life.
Greene then made his way to the third floor where he killed Thames before making his way to his nieces’ bedroom where the DA says he tried to shoot them but was out of ammunition. Greene then stabbed them in the neck and threw one of the children down the stairs. The children were eight and six years old.
“Very, very violent case, horrific case and it could have been a lot worse,” Chardo said.
Agents from the Office of the Attorney General serving a search warrant across the street were flagged down by Brittonie, the sister who Greene shot in the face.
The agents saw Gregory get in a green Dodge Charger that he stole from another place earlier in the morning, and a chase began, prosecutors say.
During the chase, which included multiple law enforcement departments from different jurisdictions, a Lower Swatara Township Police Officer was hit while he was putting down stop sticks, the DA’s Office says. He was taken to the hospital for a knee injury.
The chase concluded after Gregory crashed into a school bus taking students to Mount Calvary Christian School in Elizabethtown. No injuries were reported from that crash. Greene’s sister Brittonie and the two children also survived their injuries.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Katie Adam conducted the prosecution of the case while Detective Jason Brinker of the Harrisburg Bureau of Police was the lead investigator.
Court documents show because Greene pleaded guilty, the DA’s office opted not to push for the death penalty and file a Notice of Aggravating Factors, even though Chardo said Greene violating the protection order was an aggravating factor.
“Orders, hopefully they’ve saved lives in the past, but they’re just pieces of paper,” he said, but added PFAs are still needed. “They are important that we have restrictions on people.”
More importantly, Chardo said he hopes the family can have some closure.
“This was a just result, with certainty of a guilty plea and avoiding the family having to relive this,” he said.