PITTSBURGH (KDKA/AP) – A man accused of killing two sisters who lived next door to him in East Liberty has been found guilty on all counts.
Allen Wade was accused of shooting Sarah and Susan Wolfe after they returned from work on Feb. 6, 2014, apparently to steal a bank card.
On Monday morning, a jury found Wade guilty of first-degree murder, robbery, burglary and theft by unlawful taking.
The jury was later sent home for the day. They will convene for the sentencing phase on Tuesday to decide if Wade will face the death penalty or life in prison.
Attorney Lee Rothman says when the state files a notice of the death penalty and there is a first-degree murder conviction, the jury has to decide if the defendant should be sentenced to life in prison or receive the death penalty.
Rothman says the government will present aggravating circumstances in the case.
“While I do not know the specific aggravated circumstances alleged in this case, I can tell you that multiple deaths that occurred in this case is one such aggravating circumstance,” he said.
Rothman says if the prosecution shows that aggravating circumstances exist, the defense can present a variety of mitigating circumstances in Wade’s life.
“It would go to someone’s education or lack of education, it could go to their intelligence level, it could go to their upbringing, it could also go to their character in the community with other people,” Rothman says.
Rothman says if the jury feels the mitigating circumstances outweigh the aggravating circumstances, Wade could receive a life sentence.
Last week, when deliberations began, jurors were focused on a pen.
The pen could link suspect Wade to the Wolfe sisters. But jurors couldn’t see the pen until the defense and prosecution argued before the judge.
Surveillance video is believed to show the defendant inside a gas station. The same gas station where police found valuable evidence in the trash can.
Among the items were sweat pants with Wade’s DNA on them and a business card linked to the sisters with four digits written on the back. Digits that officials say could have been an ATM PIN number.
One of the Allegheny County jurors had to be replaced Thursday after violating an unspecified rule in the jury room.
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