The Pennsylvania woman who allegedly told friends and family members that she had shot her husband — and that he “got what he deserved” — has been sentenced to life in prison.
Danielle Bewley shot and killed her husband after “luring him to a PNC Bank parking lot in Strasburg at around 5:30 p.m.” on Feb. 14, 2021, a statement from the Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office said.
Assistant District Attorney Christine Wilson said that there was no doubt that Danielle Bewley had plotted to kill her husband.
“On Valentine’s Day of 2021, the defendant executed a plan and then executed the victim,” Wilson said, according to the DA’s statement. “She had it all planned out. It was specific premeditation. She was lying in wait for the victim to get there.”
Danielle Bewley’s lawyers had argued that she was acting in self-defense and sought a third-degree murder or manslaughter verdict. They argued that the defendant’s mental health and prior victimization made her reasonably believe she was in danger, the DA’s statement said.
Wilson disputed that claim, presenting evidence at trial that Danielle Bewley didn’t go to the police or stay at a friend’s home rather than meet her husband that day. Prosecutors also offered testimonial evidence that she had previously threatened to kill her husband.
After the shooting, Danielle Bewley also allegedly made multiple calls to friends and family saying that she had shot her husband.
“He got what he deserved,” she allegedly said.
Wilson also said that Danielle Bewley could have safely retreated from Mitchell Bewley by driving away. This undermined the defendant’s self-defense claim, which required her to show she could not have safely left her husband that day.
Mitchell Bewley’s father spoke during the sentencing proceeding and told Danielle Bewley that he forgave her and loved her, the DA’s office said in its statement.
The judge had harsher words for the defendant.
“The decisions you’ve made have left nothing but loss, heartache, and despair,” Lancaster County Judge Merrill Spahn said during Bewley’s sentencing on Tuesday, adding that the law cannot correct what she has done.
Under Spahn’s sentence, Bewley will not be eligible for parole.
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