Updated: New Details in Smyrna Double Homicide - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Updated: New Details in Smyrna Double Homicide

Posted: Updated:
Gilbert Rochester (Photo: Delaware State Police) Gilbert Rochester (Photo: Delaware State Police)

SMYRNA, Del.- A Clayton man is facing murder and related charges in connection with the Sunday morning stabbing deaths of his estranged wife and her mother outside a home near Smyrna.
    
Delaware State Police said troopers arrested 66-year-old Gilbert E. Rochester on two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of possession of a deadly weapon during the commission of a felony.

Police said that at around 7:45 a.m. Sunday, troopers were called to the home, located at 334 Hawkey Branch Road, for a report of a man stabbing a woman outside of the home. When troopers got to the home, they found two women murdered, one in the driveway, and the other inside a detached garage.

According to police, a preliminary investigation and witness interviews indicated that Rochester parked his car approximately one mile east of the home, and then walked to the house, where he waited outside. 

Troopers said that sometime between 7:20 a.m. and 7:30 a.m., 80-year-old Louise M. Cavuto Carrow walked out of her home and began heading to the detached garage in order to leave for church. Police said that is when Rochester attacked Carrow and killed her. Troopers said that a short time later, 56-year old Mary C. Lane, also exited the home and began walking to the garage, when she was physically attacked by Rochester in the driveway and subsequently stabbed to death. Police said nearby neighbors heard screams coming from the area of the home, and upon exiting their home, witnessed the attack on Mary all while calling 9-1-1.

Rochester is charged with one murder by stabbing and one murder by blunt force trauma to the face and head.

"It's a really nice area. You never have to worry about anything like this happening. For something like this to happen, it's really upsetting. It really is," Christina Butler, a neighbor, told CBS affiliate in Philadelphia.

According to court papers, Rochester and Lane were separated but in the process of a divorce, which was to be final in February. Police say Lane was living at the Hawkey Branch Road home with her mother, Carrow, and her 87-year-old stepfather.

Perhaps the most disturbing detail in the charging documents was what a witness told police.

"The witness observed a white male [later identified as Rochester] on top of Victim with a knife in his hand and blood on him. When the witness asked the white male what he was doing, he stated, "I'm murdering."

Responding troopers, and an officer from the Clayton Police Department, located the two victims, and soon found Rochester hiding in nearby woods on the property. Court documents say his hands were covered in blood, and he had scratches all over his face, which can be seen in his booking photo. Police said that upon seeing the knife still in Rochester's possession, the Clayton officer used a stun gun to temporarily incapacitate him.

Rochester was transported by EMS to an area hospital where he received medical treatment from the use of the stun gun. He was then brought to Troop 3 in Camden, where he was formally charged with murder and two counts of Possession of a Deadly Weapon During the Commission of a Felony. He was ordered held without bail at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna.

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