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Prosecutors to seek death penalty in slayings of 2 in May

October 5, 2020 GMT

HOLLIDAYSBURG, Pa. (AP) — Prosecutors say they plan to seek the death penalty if a man is convicted of first-degree murder in the deaths of two people whose bodies were found in a Pennsylvania home earlier this year.

Isaiah Payne, 32, of Philadelphia is charged in the deaths of 28-year-old Mikal Jackson-Stevenson and 52-year-old Natalie Washington in Altoona in May.

District Attorney Pete Weeks gave notice Friday that prosecutors consider capital punishment warranted in the case of a first-degree murder conviction because there were multiple victims and drug laws were allegedly violated.

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The (Altoona) Mirror reports that defense attorney Richard Corcoran acknowledged receipt of the aggravating circumstances Friday and said he will be working on a defense.

Authorities alleged in a preliminary hearing in August that the defendant was involved in a drug dispute with the male victim.