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Pa. woman gets life in Surf City, NJ murders after being cut out of father’s will

A Pennsylvania woman convicted in the 2021 fatal stabbing and shooting of her elderly father and his longtime girlfriend has been sentenced to two consecutive life sentences, authorities said Friday.

Sherry Lee Heffernan, 57, of Landenberg, was convicted earlier this year in the killing of 87-year-old John Enders and his live-in girlfriend, 57-year-old Francoise Pitoy, at his Surf City, N.J. beach house.

According to prosecutors, Heffernan was angry that she’d been left out of her father’s will. On the night of Sept. 29, 2021, she drove to her father’s six-bedroom waterfront home and brutally killed the couple, they said.

A post-mortem examination performed by the Ocean County Medical Examiner determined that Enders died from “multiple stab wounds with severance of the right carotid artery and blunt force trauma,” and Pitoy from “multiple stab wounds as well as a gunshot wound to the face.”

Enders also suffered a gunshot wound to his face, officials said.

An investigation conducted by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, the Surf City Police Department, and the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit later determined that Heffernan had been responsible for both deaths.

According to Michael Weatherstone, chief trial attorney with the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, Heffernan began attacking the victims as they were asleep in their bedroom.

In what he described as a crime of hatred, Weatherstone said Haffernan stabbed her father a total of 51 times and Pitoy 39 times. She also shot them in the face, not to kill them but to inflict more suffering, Weatherstone alleged.

Heffernan was arrested by the Pennsylvania State Police at her residence in Landenberg, Penn. on Oct. 4, 2021. She was transferred to the Ocean County Jail in New Jersey two weeks later.

On March 1, following a four-week trial, a jury found her guilty of two counts of murder and weapons charges in connection with the deaths of Enders and Pitoy.

Superior Court Judge Kimarie Rahill on Friday ordered Heffernan to serve 63 years and nine months without the possibility of parole for each murder, saying the crime was committed with “extreme depravity,” the Asbury Park Press reported.


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