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HOMICIDE IN WYNDMOOR

Kenneth Crisden Shea Jr., 37, is accused of stabbing his wife, Elizabeth Shea, 57, in April in her home.

Estranged husband heads to county trial on murder charges in stabbing death of Wyndmoor wife

Kenneth Shea, 37, of Bensalem. (Credit: Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office)

  • Courts

A 37-year-old estranged husband accused of stabbing his 57-year-old wife to death inside her Wyndmoor, Springfield Township home last month is headed to Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas on first-, second-, and third-degree murder charges, according to The Mercury.

Magisterial District Judge Katherine E. McGill held those charges, plus burglary and possessing an instrument of crime, for trial against Kenneth Crisden Shea Jr., 37, of the 2700 block of Lincoln Highway, Lower Southampton Township, Bucks County, during his preliminary hearing Tuesday, per the report.

Shea, who had a protection of abuse order issued against him in March, is accused of stabbing his wife, Elizabeth Shea, to death on April 10, 2024, per court documents.

The accused will also stand trial separately on accusations of simple assault and strangulation in connection with an alleged January 2024 domestic assault on his wife, per the article.

Shea will remain in Montgomery County jail without bail until trial. First- and second-degree murder charges carry a term of life in prison upon conviction, according to The Mercury. Shea could get 20 to 40 years in prison, if convicted of third-degree murder.

Montgomery County detectives, several Springfield Township Police personnel, and a domestic violence counselor testified at the hearing for the prosecution. While Assistant District Attorney Tanner Christian Beck and McGill found sufficient evidence for trial, Shea’s attorney Francis John Genovese disagreed, stating everything was hearsay, per the report.

A formal arraignment is set for June, according to court dockets.

Springfield Township Police responded to the 1000 block of Cromwell Lane at 7:30 a.m. on April 10 for a wellness check, after Shea’s coworkers called police reporting that she had failed to show up for her regularly scheduled shift at work. Arriving police located Shea’s body lying on the floor of the master bedroom with “obvious cut wounds to her head and neck,” according to a spokesperson for the district attorney’s office.

Investigators noted that four hard drives from the home’s surveillance system and three cell phones had been discarded in a bathroom sink and toilet.

An autopsy was performed Thursday morning, which determined Shea’s cause of death as multiple stab wounds and her manner of death as homicide, officials said.

An investigation by Springfield Police and the Montgomery County Detective Bureau determined that Shea had taken an Uber from the Comfort Inn in Bensalem at 12:36 a.m. and was dropped off behind the victim’s residence at 12:55 a.m., officials said. He then allegedly made entry into the home by pushing an air conditioning unit through a window and then forced entry into the master bedroom, according to the criminal complaint.

Shea then was picked up by an Uber behind the victim’s home at 3:37 a.m. and he returned to the Comfort Inn at 3:58 a.m., police said.

The criminal complaint does not mention a weapon being recovered at the scene.

Investigators said they were aware of prior domestic incidents at the victim’s home, and there was an active arrest warrant for Shea regarding an alleged assault of the victim in January 2024. Police said the victim secured a Protection from Abuse order against Shea in March, and he was evicted from the home on March 15.

Shea was taken into custody outside of his hotel room at 6 p.m. by Bensalem SWAT officers. A search warrant executed on the room uncovered clothing matching surveillance footage of Shea, along with staining that was consistent with blood on the bed inside of the hotel room, police said.

“This is a tragic case, and our hearts go out to the family of Elizabeth Shea,” said Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele. “I also want to thank the Bensalem Police for the significant resources they provided, including drone surveillance and a K-9, as well as numerous officers, which enabled this defendant to be taken into custody without incident.”

If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship or is the victim of domestic violence, help is available. In Montgomery County, you can contact Laurel House at 800-642-3150 or the Women’s Center of Montgomery County at 800-773-2424. For more information on available services and assistance, click here.

All suspects and defendants are innocent until proven guilty. This story was compiled using public court records.

author

Tony Di Domizio

Tony Di Domizio is the Managing Editor of NorthPennNow and PerkValleyNow, and a staff writer for WissNow. Tony graduated from Kutztown University and went on to serve as a reporter and editor for various news organizations, including Patch, The Reporter, and The Morning Call. He loves creative writing, action figure collecting & reselling, music, and films with Michael Keaton & Al Pacino.

Monday, June 24, 2024
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