Woman gets two life sentences in 2021 for murder of father, his long-time girlfriend

TOMS RIVER, N.J. (AP) — A Pennsylvania woman has been sentenced to two life sentences for the shooting and stabbing of her father and his longtime girlfriend 2½ years ago in New Jersey.

Sherry Lee Heffernan, 57, of Landenberg, Pennsylvania, was convicted in March of murder and weapons offenses in the deaths of her father, John Enders, 87, and Francoise Pitoy, 75, Enders’ longtime live-in girlfriend. Both were shot and stabbed repeatedly at Enders’ home on Long Beach Island in the fall of 2021.

The Asbury Park Press reports that Heffernan remained calm Friday as an Ocean County judge imposed the two consecutive life sentences. High Court Judge Kimarie Rahill said the crime was “committed with extreme depravity” and ordered her to serve a prison sentence of 63 years and nine months without the possibility of parole for each murder.

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Minutes earlier, Heffernan had sobbed as she professed her innocence and called the victims “priceless people” who she would “miss forever.”

“I really wish I was the one who was killed, that I was the one who died,” she said through tears to a courtroom packed with relatives and friends of both victims. “…It’s terrible to lose people you love and then be blamed for it.”

New Jersey authorities alleged that Heffernan was angry with her father for being cut out of his will, and she traveled to the home in her recreational vehicle on the night of September 29, 2021.

Michael Weatherstone, chief prosecutor in the county prosecutor’s office, alleged that the defendant stabbed the victims while they slept, shot them both, not to kill but to inflict more suffering, and then sat her father in a chair and held him kept stabbing him while watching him. eye. Enders was stabbed a total of 51 times and Pitoy 39 times, authorities said.

Prosecutors cited evidence tracking Heffernan’s vehicle and cellphone along that route, and footprints found in the home. Defense attorneys Steven Altman and Phil Nettl argued there was no evidence Heffernan was in the vehicle.

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