GETTYSBURG, Pa. – Prosecutors say they will seek the death penalty against a man charged in the murders of a mother and her teenage daughter during a burglary in Pennsylvania more than 3 decades ago.
Fifty-five-year-old Abraham Cruz Jr. was charged in August with criminal homicide, conspiracy, burglary and arson in the August 1980 slayings of 17-year-old Deborah Patterson and her mother Nancy Patterson.
A district attorney said at Cruz's hearing Monday that capital punishment would be justified.
Authorities said two men broke into the home outside Gettysburg and set fire to the kitchen, then shot the two victims. Nancy Patterson's husband was also shot, but survived. Police said two other children escaped.
Erasmo Cruz, Abraham Cruz's uncle, pleaded guilty earlier to third-degree homicide. Another man pleaded guilty to a burglary conspiracy charge.