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Double Murder Defendant Pleads Guilty, Receives Life Sentences

Posted On: Monday, December 24th, 2012

Categories: Criminal Department of Justice Press Releases

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Dover – A defendant charged with the July, 2011 killing of a father and son in their Dover home has been sentenced to life in prison for his crimes, the Attorney General’s Office announced today.


Jason T. O’Neil, age 28, of Dover was arrested by Dover police on July 25, 2011 and charged with two counts of First degree murder in the killing of Howard A. Sheppard, 91, and Howard R. Sheppard, 60, who were discovered earlier that morning at their home by a family member.  The senior Sheppard died from blunt force trauma to the head while his son died of multiple stab wound and lacerations.  O’Neil was a neighbor of the victims at the time.


O’Neil was indicted on October 3, 2011 on First Degree Murder, Burglary and other charges by the Kent County Grand Jury.  On Thursday, December 20, 2012, O’Neil pled Guilty But Mentally Ill to two counts of First Degree Murder.  He was immediately sentenced by President Judge James T. Vaughn, Jr. to two life terms in prison without the possibility of parole.


“The senseless act of violence that took these two wholly innocent victims has caused deep pain to their family and traumatized the community,” Attorney General Biden stated.  “The defendant received a sentence that protects the community by ensuring he will spend the rest of his life in prison without the possibility of parole.  We also hope it provides some closure for the victims’ family at this difficult time.”


The case was prosecuted by Deputy Attorneys General Dennis Kelleher and Deborah Weaver


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