A Montgomery County man is accused of murdering his wife and mother-in-law inside their home following an argument over a missing magazine for his gun.
Frederick Clea, 57, of Cheltenham Township, was arrested and charged with murder and possessing an instrument of crime.
On Saturday, at 12:09 p.m., police responded to Clea’s home on the 7700 block of Green Valley Road after a woman called reporting a domestic disturbance.
In the 911 call, a woman is heard saying, "Why did you do that? Why did you do that? Look at my leg. Look at my leg," according to the criminal complaint. Four gunshots are then heard.
When police arrived they were met by Clea who told them that he "went too far" and that he "shot them," according to the criminal complaint. The officers then saw two children, ages 10 and 5, at the door, both unharmed.
The officers then went inside and found Frederick Clea’s wife, 41-year-old Latiya Clea, and his mother-in-law, 74-year-old Mekenda Sanders, on the floor, suffering from gunshot wounds. They also spotted a semi-automatic handgun sitting on a desk, according to the criminal complaint.
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Both women were pronounced dead at the scene.
During an interview, Frederick Clea allegedly told police he had been arguing with his wife in their bedroom about a missing magazine for his gun. She then left and went to the kitchen with her mother to put away groceries, according to the criminal complaint.
Clea allegedly ransacked his bedroom, searching for the magazine before going downstairs with his loaded 9 mm handgun where he sat on the steps. Clea told police he began arguing with his wife again and then "just started shooting," according to the criminal complaint.
Latiya Clea was shot five times throughout her body while Sanders, who was not involved in the initial argument, was shot in the torso, according to investigators.
“The combination of a recently purchased gun and anger toward his wife and mother-in-law proved deadly,” Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin R. Steele said. “Tragically, two young children are now left without parents and a grandparent in their lives, and the defendant faces spending the rest of his life in prison.”
Clea was remanded to the Montgomery County Correctional Facility. Bail is not available for a First-Degree murder charge, according to officials. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for Aug. 6.
Prior to Saturday's shooting, Cheltenham Township police had visited Clea's home on Dec. 3, 2017, and on Dec. 24, 2019, for domestic-related incidents, according to the criminal complaint.