D.A.: Decision justified by defendant’s history of violence against victim
By Kathleen Brady Shea, Managing Editor, The Times
Calling the homicide of an East Fallowfield mother “a cold-blooded execution,” Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan announced Wednesday that his office would seek the death penalty against defendant Gregory A. Twyman, 44.
On May 21, 2013, Twyman called police to tell them he had shot Jamica M. Woods, 37, his longtime partner and the mother of their 18-year-old daughter, at the residence they had shared on Rokeby Road. When officers arrived, they found Twyman on the porch smoking a cigarette and the body of Woods inside, the victim of two gunshots, police said.
Hogan said the case qualified for the death penalty because Twyman “has a significant history of felony convictions involving the use or threat of violence to the person.” In the death-penalty notice, Hogan said prosecutors intend to present victim-impact testimony from the friends and family of Woods during the penalty phase of Twyman’s trial.
“Jamica Woods was a kind and loving mother,” Hogan said. “This crime was a cold-blooded execution. We will seek justice for Jamica’s death.”
Hogan said Twyman, who is being represented by Assistant Public Defender James A. McMullen, will be arraigned on Thursday, at which point the death-penalty notice will be formally entered. The case will be prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Michelle E. Frei, he said.
Court records show that Woods sought a Protection-from-Abuse (PFA) petition three times, most recently in December; however, no PFA was active at the time of her death. Records show a tumultuous history dating back to 1998, when Twyman was ordered to serve 71 days in jail for threatening Woods.
In a Dec. 20 petition, Woods wrote that Twyman had called about 10:30 p.m. that day and learned that she had sought a PFA and that “he would go to jail” if he approached her. “He said if I go to jail, wait to see where you go,” the petition said, adding that she believed he would “cause physical harm or even kill” her.