QUARRYVILLE, Pa. — A Lancaster County woman was convicted on Dec. 20 in the murder of her estranged husband.
Danielle Bewley, 30, from the 100 block of Locust Lane was convicted of first-degree murder after a five-day bench trial. She has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
On Valentine's Day in 2021, Mitchell Bewley was lured by Danielle to a PNC Bank in Strasburg around 5:30 p.m. where he was shot five times in the torso, according to the Lancaster County District Attorney's Office.
Assistant District Attorney Christine Wilson prosecuted the case and presented evidence that the killing was premeditated.
“On Valentine’s Day of 2021, the defendant executed a plan and then executed the victim,” Wilson said. “She had it all planned out. It was specific premeditation. She was lying in wait for the victim to get there.”
Evidence and testimony presented throughout the trial included:
-Witnesses at the PNC Bank heard one gunshot and then a rapid succession of gunfire.
-The Lancaster County Coroner who conducted the victim’s autopsy testified all five shots could have been fatal to the victim.
-Testimony from the defendant’s friend and Ring camera video evidence revealed the defendant went to the friend’s house to pick up her firearm. Wilson also argued the defendant’s claim that she was scared was inaccurate since she never stopped at a police station or stayed at her friend’s rather than going to meet with the victim.
-Testimony that the defendant made previous threats to kill the victim.
-Evidence of a FaceTime call between the defendant and her friend with the defendant showing a gun moments before the shooting.
-Evidence of multiple calls from the defendant to friends and family saying she had shot the victim, including that “He got what he deserved.”
The defense argued that the shooting was in self-defense. They asked for a third-degree murder or manslaughter verdict, arguing that Bewley's mental health and prior victimization made her reasonably believe she was in fear of danger.
Judge Spahn returned the first-degree murder guilty verdict around 4:45 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 20.