NEW CASTLE (KDKA) –The Lawrence County District Attorney is seeking the death penalty in the murder of a teenager 17 years ago.
Shawn McDonough was brought to the Lawrence County Jail from Louisiana to face charges in the murder that happened in 1993.
The DA announced plans to seek the death penalty Tuesday against McDonough for the murder of 15-year-old Laura Lynn Thompson.
“At this time it seems Mr. McDonough was the principal actor and therefore that’s why I’m certifying the case as a death penalty case against him,” Joshua Lamancusa, the district attorney, said.
According to the criminal complaint, McDonough and co-defendant Joseph Marshall picked up Thompson to go play cards. Marshall claims he watched McDonough wrestle the girl to the floor and stab her in the back repeatedly.
“It’s based upon some aggravating circumstances – the age of the victim, the rape of the victim prior to the murder or the rape of the victim after the murder,” Lamancusa said.
“He should get the death penalty,” Nancy Thompson, the victim’s mother, said. “After what they did to my daughter, I don’t have no feelings for them.”
The case went unsolved for 17 years until Shannon Marshall fearing for her safety in a divorce told police her husband killed Thompson while they were dating back in 1993.
Even though McDonough and Marshall were arrested, Thompson’s body was never found.
The district attorney says they plan to resume searching for the body in the spring.