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Carlisle

Carlisle man receives death sentence for 2020 murder of pregnant girlfriend

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A Carlisle man has been sentenced to death in the 2020 murder of his girlfriend.

Davone Unique Anderson, 27, is the first person to receive the death penalty in Cumberland County since 2002 according to the District Attorney’s Office.

The jury reached a unanimous verdict around 3:30 p.m. Thursday, after about three and a half hours of deliberation.

Cumberland County District Attorney Sean McCormack, who served as the lead prosecutor in the case, said the jury had a split verdict after being tasked to make a decision regarding the death penalty on two counts of murder in the first degree.

McCormack said that on the first count, for the shooting death of Sydney Parmalee on July 5, 2020, the 12 juors were unable to reach a unanimous decision and reported to the judge that they were “hopelessly deadlocked.” He said that by law Cumberland County Judge Edward Guido automatically imposed a life sentence.

“The foreperson was then asked if they had a verdict if they had a verdict in the death of Kaylee Lyons, which occurred on July 30 of 2020, and the foreperson announced that yes they did have a unanimous verdict in that case and he then announced that the verdict was for death,” McCormack said.

Anderson was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder, one count of first-degree murder of an unborn child, two counts of endangering the welfare of children, two counts of persons not to possess firearms and one count of theft by receiving stolen property Monday afternoon. He is being held at the Cumberland County Prison and his formal sentencing is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. May 31 before Guido, McCormack said.

McCormack said Guido will sentence Anderson on two counts of endangering the welfare of his 13-month old son who was present in the house for both murders and the first degree murder of an unborn child, as Lyons was pregnant at the time of her death.

He expressed his gratitude for the time and effort members of the jury put into the case through Monday’s guilty verdicts and Tuesday’s sentencing.

“We recognize that it is not an easy thing for 12 people from the community to come in and sentence someone to death, but this was a case that the law obviously called for the potential of the death sentence and after weighing all the evidence, the jury agreed that the death sentence was appropriate with this case as it related to the death of Kaylee Lyons,” McCormack said.

Carlisle police said Anderson shot Parmelee in the head in Lyons’s home on July 5, 2020, and then killed Lyons in the same manner in her home on July 31, 2020.

Sydney Parmelee had two children with Anderson. Lyons had one child with him.

Police said when he was arrested that Anderson told them he killed Parmelee because he thought she had cheated on him and that he killed Lyons because he thought she was planning to turn him in for Parmelee’s murder.

McCormack said he feels that it was Parmalee’s death that the jury used to reach their verdict on the sentence for Lyons.

“What I mean by that is one of the aggravating circumstances in Kaylee Lyons’ sentencing was the fact that he had killed another person prior to killing Kaylee, so it was Sydney’s death on July 5 that ultimately, I believe, caused the jury to feel that the sentence of death was appropriate for the second murder that he committed on July 30,” McCormack said.

He was assisted in the case Senior Assistant District Attorney Nichole Vito.

Anderson also faces attempted murder and aggravated assault charges in an unrelated case. He is accused of assaulting another inmate inside the Cumberland County Prison on March 11. Police said he punched the victim several times and threw him over a second floor railing. The victim suffered several fractures and bruising and was taken to the hospital. A formal arraignment for this incident is scheduled for June 13.

Maddie Seiler is a news reporter for The Sentinel and cumberlink.com covering Carlisle and Newville. You can contact her at mseiler@cumberlink.com and follow her on Twitter at: @SeilerMadalyn

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