In Lancaster, prosecutors said this week that they will seek the death penalty against Jesse D. "Jay" Wise, the man accused of killing six family members and attempting to kill a 7th.
Lancaster District Attorney Don Totaro told reporters there are at least 2 aggravating circumstances that justify capital punishment in the case - the killing of a child under 12 and the killing of multiple victims.
Wise, 21, allegedly bludgeoned, stabbed or strangled his grandmother, 2 aunts, 2 cousins and an uncle inside the Leola home they shared in mid-April. One cousin, Chance Wise, was 5 years old.
At a preliminary hearing Friday, police alleged that Wise set off for New York after the slayings with the intention of killing his grandfather. However, he never reached the destination because the vehicle he was driving had mechanical trouble on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, police said.
His girlfriend, Jackie Boots, testified that Wise confessed to her. Police have not disclosed a possible motive.
The bodies were found in the basement of the home on April 12, 3 or 4 days after authorities believe the victims were killed.
Messages left Wednesday for Wise's lawyer, John A. Kenneff, were not immediately returned.