Elizabeth Shea, 57, owned Lucky Dogz Pet Daycare Center in Wyndmoor, Springfield Township

Man pleads guilty to stabbing death of estranged wife in Wyndmoor, gets life in prison

Kenneth Shea, 37, of Bensalem. (Credit: Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office)

  • Courts

The lawyer of Kenneth Crisden Shea Jr., 37, told prosecutors last week that his client intended to plead guilty to the brutal murder of his estranged wife and mother of three in her Wyndmoor, Springfield Township home in April, and accept his fate of life in prison – and that is exactly what he did on Monday in Montgomery County Common Pleas court.

According to The Mercury, as the victim’s sons and sisters looked on, Shea, of the 2700 block of Lincoln Highway, Lower Southampton Township, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and was given life in prison without parole for stabbing Elizabeth Shea, 57, the owner of Lucky Dogz Pet Daycare Center in Wyndmoor.

By imposing life in prison as part of a plea deal, Shea avoided a potential death penalty conviction, per the report. Prosecutors had announced their intention to seek the death penalty had it gone to trial, per the report.

The victim’s sons said the plea agreement avoids a trauma of a jury trial, per the article.

“Mom was such a beautiful personality, a beautiful smile, a hardworking person and she will truly be missed in our family. She was a great loving mother, cared about everyone in her life, wanted the best for everyone,” Corey Bradley, the youngest son of Elizabeth Shea, told The Mercury. “We’re still trying to wrap our heads around it. She’s always watching over us in good spirits and she would want the best for us so we just got to make her proud.”

The victim’s sisters, Evelyn and Ruth, per the article, described “parasitic leech” Shea as a “deadly infection” who manipulated and used their sister.

Shea also pleaded guilty to separate accusations of simple assault and strangulation in connection with a January 2024 domestic assault on his deceased wife.

Springfield Township Police responded to the 1000 block of Cromwell Lane at 7:30 a.m. on April 10 for a wellness check, after Shea’s coworkers called police reporting that she had failed to show up for her regularly scheduled shift at work. Arriving police located Shea’s body lying on the floor of the master bedroom with “obvious cut wounds to her head and neck,” according to a spokesperson for the district attorney’s office.

Investigators noted that four hard drives from the home’s surveillance system and three cell phones had been discarded in a bathroom sink and toilet.

An autopsy determined Shea’s cause of death as multiple stab wounds and her manner of death as homicide, officials said.

An investigation by Springfield Police and the Montgomery County Detective Bureau determined that Shea had taken an Uber from the Comfort Inn in Bensalem at 12:36 a.m. and was dropped off behind the victim’s residence at 12:55 a.m., officials said.

He then allegedly made entry into the home by pushing an air conditioning unit through a window and then forced entry into the master bedroom, according to the criminal complaint.

Shea then was picked up by an Uber behind the victim’s home at 3:37 a.m. and he returned to the Comfort Inn at 3:58 a.m., police said.

Shea was taken into custody outside of his hotel room at 6 p.m. by Bensalem SWAT officers. A search warrant executed on the room uncovered clothing matching surveillance footage of Shea, along with staining that was consistent with blood on the bed inside of the hotel room, police said.

The criminal complaint does not mention a weapon being recovered at the scene.

Investigators said they were aware of prior domestic incidents at the victim’s home, and there was an active arrest warrant for Shea regarding an alleged assault of the victim in January 2024. Police said the victim secured a Protection from Abuse order against Shea in March, and he was evicted from the home on March 15.

“This is a tragic case, and our hearts go out to the family of Elizabeth Shea,” said Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele in April. “I also want to thank the Bensalem Police for the significant resources they provided, including drone surveillance and a K-9, as well as numerous officers, which enabled this defendant to be taken into custody without incident.”

If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship or is the victim of domestic violence, help is available. In Montgomery County, you can contact Laurel House at 800-642-3150 or the Women’s Center of Montgomery County at 800-773-2424.


Tony Di Domizio

Tony Di Domizio is the Managing Editor of NorthPennNow and PerkValleyNow, and a staff writer for WissNow. Tony graduated from Kutztown University and went on to serve as a reporter and editor for various news organizations, including Patch, The Reporter, and The Morning Call. He loves creative writing, action figure collecting & reselling, music, and films with Michael Keaton & Al Pacino.

Saturday, July 13, 2024


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