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Nephew sentenced to life, plus 20 years for brutal murder of aunt in McSherrystown

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The McSherrystown man who killed his aunt last April will serve the rest of his life in prison.

Adams County President Judge Michael George sentenced Jonathan Leonard to life without the possibility of parole plus a consecutive sentence of 7 to 20 years for the brutal beating death of his 64 year-old aunt, Christiana Leonard. Leonard pled Guilty but Mentally Ill to charges of First Degree Murder and Involuntary Deviant Sexual Intercourse.

On April 9, 2012, Leonard entered the victim’s home on 3rd Street and proceeded to sexually assault her and beat and strangled her. The medical report was gruesome: Christiana Leonard suffered brain swelling, a fractured hyoid bone ( from strangulation), multiple facial bruises, a broken nose, subdural hemorrhaging, and seven broken ribs, all while she was still alive. The cause of death was brain injuries and asphyxia due to compression of the neck.

Leonard stole the victim’s car and several pieces of jewelry he later hocked at a Hanover pawn shop.

Frank Dattilio, a clinical and forensic psychologist from Allentown, testified that Leonard knew the nature and quality of his actions and also knew they were wrong. But because of his mental deficiencies, he was unable to conform his behavior to the requirements of the law. As a result of his plea, Leonard will be provided psychiatric treatment by the Bureau of Corrections.

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