Arrest announced in Cheltenham double murder

Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin R. Steele and Cheltenham Police Chief John Frye announce on Sunday, July 26th the arrest of Frederick J. Clea, 57, of 7780 Green Valley Road, for two counts of First-Degree Murder and related charges in the homicides of his wife, Latiya Clea, 41, and his mother-in-law, Mekenda Sanders,75.

From the announcement:

On Saturday, July 25 2020, at 12:09 p.m., Cheltenham Police responded to 7780 Green Valley Road after a female from the residence called 911 for a domestic disturbance. Cheltenham Police Officers arrived on scene and located the two victims, who both lived at the residence. Latiya Clea and Sanders suffered apparent gunshot wounds and were pronounced dead at the scene by personnel from Cheltenham Township EMS. The defendant answered the door when police arrived. A Glock semi-automatic handgun was recovered at the scene.

Cheltenham Police and Montgomery County Detectives conducted a joint investigation into the apparent homicides. The investigation revealed that the defendant and his wife were engaged in a verbal argument when the shooting occurred.

“The combination of a recently purchased gun and anger toward his wife and mother-in-law proved deadly,” said Steele. “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.”

Autopsies on the bodies were conducted today by Dr. Gregory McConald of the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office. Dr. McDonald determined that Latiya Clea died of multiple gunshot wounds, sustaining five gunshot wounds, and Sanders died of a gunshot wound to the chest. The manner of death for both victims was homicide.

Frederick Clea was charged with two counts each of First-Degree Murder, Third-Degree Murder and Possessing an Instrument of Crime. He was arraigned by Magisterial District Judge Christopher J. Cerski. Bail is not available for First-Degree Murder, and the defendant was remanded to the Montgomery County Correctional Facility. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m., Aug. 6, 2020, before Judge Cerksi.