Trial ordered in double-slaying in central Pa.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A prosecutor says the double-homicide of a woman and her mother in their central Pennsylvania home two months ago will "absolutely" be a death penalty case.

Lancaster County District Attorney Craig Stedman told the (Lancaster) Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era that he will be filing a motion of intent to seek capital punishment if 23-year-old Gary Gerlach is convicted of first-degree murder.

After Monday's preliminary hearing, Gerlach was ordered to stand trial on two counts of criminal homicide and new charges of theft and abuse of a corpse.

Authorities allege that he strangled his girlfriend, 22-year-old Makenzie Hess, and beat her mother, Mona, to death with a hammer on June 15 in their Upper Leacock Township home. Gerlach was arrested two days later at a hotel in Wildwood, N.J.

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