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Pennsylvania man sentenced to 20 years on plea deal after murdering his mother and taking pictures with her body

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A Pennsylvania man who murdered his mother and took pictures with her body has been sentenced to 20 years in prison after receiving a plea deal opposed by much of the family.

David Sumney, 33, was accused of torturing his 67-year-old mother Margaret and murdering her at their home in 2019.

He had documented the crime by taking 277 photos, including several selfies of blood smeared on his face and his mother’s body.

Sumney reached a plea deal in August that dismissed charges of first-degree murder and abuse of a corpse, leaving him with only one count of third-degree murder.

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David Sumney, 33, was accused of torturing his 67-year-old mother Margaret and murdering her at their home in 2019.
(Allegheny County Police Department)

Since he has been behind bars since 2019, he could be released in as little as 17 years.

“I can’t believe he would let me get to a state where I could do something so bad, so horrible. I can’t believe what I did, that I killed my own mother,” Sumney said during her hearing Thursday in Allegheny County. Court. “I can’t stop thinking about it. I think about it every day. I’m sorry, but sorry isn’t enough. I handled things as badly as a person could have.”

“To my family, my sisters and my aunts, I know that it is impossible for you to forgive me. I do not forgive myself. I just want you to know that I am very sorry,” he continued.

Sumney’s defense sought a seven-year sentence because he “expressed remorse” and attributed his crime to his drug and alcohol use.

Meanwhile, Margaret’s family lobbied for a harsher sentence than she ultimately received.

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A Pennsylvania man who murdered his mother and took pictures with her body has been sentenced to 20 years in prison after receiving a plea deal opposed by much of the family.

A Pennsylvania man who murdered his mother and took pictures with her body has been sentenced to 20 years in prison after receiving a plea deal opposed by much of the family.
(Allegheny County Police Department)

His older sister, Mary Ellen, called Sumney “less than a piece of trash” and said she wished he “got the death sentence”. Margaret’s other sister, Ann Shade, urged the court “not to give her a second chance.”

Sumney would have faced life behind bars had he been convicted on his initial charges.

Her cousin, Margo, explained that she will never forget the “metallic smell” when she entered the blood-soaked house in 2019.

“He is the epitome of pure evil,” she said. “We will never find peace with any of this.”

The defense called two Allegheny jail employees to the stand, one of whom described Sumney as a role model inmate who participates in Bible studies with other inmates. Also called to the stand was a doctor who argued that Sumney had diminished mental capacity at the time of the murder due to “extremely high doses” of Adderall.

Sumney had documented the crime by taking 277 photos, including several selfies of blood smeared on his face and his mother's body.

Sumney had documented the crime by taking 277 photos, including several selfies of blood smeared on his face and his mother’s body.
(Allegheny County Police Department)

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After the murder, Sumney had reportedly searched online for how to dispose of his mother’s body. Among her quests were, “how long before a body begins to decompose?” and “how long do you wait to dispose of a body?”

The judge sentenced Sumney to a minimum of 20 years in prison and a maximum of 40 years.

“You broke his back,” Ellen told the court. “You paralyzed our mother. And then you hit her and you hit her. Blood splattered on the walls. But I think the sickest part is the photos. All 277 photos. You only take photos if you want to go back and see them.” what did you do.”

Sumney is also facing another criminal case in Atlantic City, where his ex-girlfriend accuses him of choking and strangling her in a hotel room in July 2019.

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