By Brad Segall
NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CBS) — Montgomery County prosecutors say they will seek the death penalty for a 24-year-old Upper Merion man accused of using a sword to murder his parents and his twin brother in their home nearly a year ago.
Through his attorney, Joseph McAndrew Jr. entered not guilty pleas to first- and third-degree murder charges. He is accused of killing his parents, Joseph Sr. and Susan, and his twin brother James inside their Holstein Road home (see related story).
Montgomery County prosecutor Tracey Potere says if McAndrew is found guilty, the aggravating factors in this case warrant the death penalty.
“The viciousness and brutality with which he annihilated his own family is precisely the type of violent homicidal conduct for which we reserve our most extreme and final punishment for,” she said today.
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Defense attorney Steve Heckman says they’re hoping they can show that McAndrew was suffering from severe mental health issues at the time of the killings, and convince prosecutors to back off capital punishment.
McAndrew is being treated at Norristown State Hospital. The trial has been scheduled for October 5th.