QUARRYVILLE, Pa.(WHTM) — A Lancaster County woman has been convicted of murder for killing her estranged husband on Valentine’s Day in 2021.
According to the Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office, 30-year-old Danielle Bewley shot Mitchell Bewley five times after luring him into a PNC Bank in Strausburg.
Assistant District Attorney Christine Wilson prosecuted the case and presented evidence that the killing was premeditated while the defense argued the shooting was in self-defense.
“On Valentine’s Day of 2021, the defendant executed a plan and then executed the victim,” Wilson said. “She had it all planned out. It was specific premeditation. She was lying in wait for the victim to get there.”
As quoted in the district attorney’s release, evidence and testimony presented throughout the trial included the following:
- Witnesses at the PNC Bank heard one gunshot and then a rapid succession of gunfire.
- The Lancaster County Coroner who conducted the victim’s autopsy testified all five shots could have been fatal to the victim.
- Testimony from the defendant’s friend and Ring camera video evidence revealed the defendant went to the friend’s house to pick up her firearm. Wilson also argued the defendant’s claim that she was scared was inaccurate since she never stopped at a police station or stayed at her friend’s rather than going to meet with the victim. –
- Testimony that the defendant made previous threats to kill the victim.
- Evidence of a FaceTime call between the defendant and her friend with the defendant showing a gun moments before the shooting.
- Evidence of multiple calls from the defendant to friends and family saying she had shot the victim, including that “He got what he deserved.”
Wilson also stated the defendant could have safely retreated from the situation by driving away; the inability to safely retreat is needed for a self-defense claim.
Judge Spahn returned the guilty verdict at about 4:45 p.m. Tuesday. Sentencing will occur at a later date.