Death Penalty Imposed On Woman In 2003 Slaying Thrown Out

08.08.16 | Bob Price

A central Pennsylvania judge has thrown out the death penalty imposed on a woman convicted of killing her World War II-veteran neighbor with a hatchet more than a dozen years ago.

Clinton County Senior Judge Michael Williamson said 37-year-old Shonda Walter had inadequate attorney representation in the 2003 murder of 83-year-old James Sementelli in his Lock Haven home.

Prosecutors said Walter killed Sementelli - a veteran of the Dec. 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor - so she could steal and sell his car to pay off court debts and gain entry into a street gang.

Walter was the only woman remaining on death row in Pennsylvania. In an order dated July 26, Williamson resentenced her to life in prison without possibility of parole.