Man Sentenced to Life in Deaths of Father, Son - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Man Sentenced to Life in Deaths of Father, Son

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Jason T. O'Neil Jason T. O'Neil

DOVER, Del.- A 28-year-old Dover man arrested for murdering a father and son in their Dover home in July of last year has been sentenced to life behind bars for his crimes, the Delaware Attorney General's Office announced Monday.

Prosecutors said Jason T. O'Neil was arrested by Dover police on July 25, 2011, and charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of 91-year-old Howard A. Sheppard and 60-year-old Howard R. Sheppard, whose bodies were discovered earlier that morning at their home by a family member. According to investigators, the senior Sheppard died from blunt force trauma to the head while his son died of multiple stab wound and lacerations. O'Neil was a neighbor of the victims at the times of the murders, prosecutors said.

The Kent County Grand Jury indicted O'Neil on Oct. 3, 2011, on first-degree murder, burglary and other charges.  On Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012, O'Neil pleaded guilty but mentally ill to two counts of first-degree murder. He was subsequently sentenced by President Judge James T. Vaughn Jr. to two life terms in prison without the possibility of parole.

 "The senseless act of violence that took these two wholly innocent victims has caused deep pain to their family and traumatized the community," Delaware Attorney General Biden said in a prepared statement.  "The defendant received a sentence that protects the community by ensuring he will spend the rest of his life in prison without the possibility of parole.  We also hope it provides some closure for the victims' family at this difficult time."

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