YORK COUNTY — An East Manchester Township man convicted on two counts of first-degree murder will avoid a death sentence after prosecutors and defense attorneys agreed the punishment could not stand due to an error on the verdict slip, prompting a York County judge to throw out the sentence.
Paul Henry III, 42, was found guilty of shooting two people to death in 2016. He is set to serve a minimum sentence of life in prison without parole.
But Judge Michael E. Bortner ruled in an order dated April 8 that double-jeopardy does not apply in the case, and prosecutors can continue to seek a death sentence. Bortner ordered a stay on re-sentencing proceedings until other legal issues in the case are worked out.
Henry and his wife, Veronique, broke into a Fawn Township home and shot and killed Foday Cheeks, 31, and Danielle Talyer, 26, of Spring Grove. After the shooting, officials said that the Henry’s searched the home for drugs after the shooting.
After her arrest in connection to the crime, Veronique Henry, 32, hanged herself in her prison cell. Paul Henry was convicted of the murders in May 2018.
But the death sentence ordered by a York County was thrown out after prosecutors and defense attorneys agreed on two mitigating factors: Henry didn’t have any write-ups in York County Prison, or a significant prior criminal record. The jury did not write them on the verdict slip, invalidating the death sentence.