Landon May was sentenced to death by the State of Pennsylvania for a double murder committed during a robbery. According to court documents Landon May and three other broke into a home believing the owners were on vacation however they were wrong. Landon May and the three accomplices would murder the two home owners before fleeing. Landon May would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to death
Landon May 2022 Information
Parole Number: 850DV
Date of Birth: 07/04/1982
Height: 5′ 08″
Current Location: PHOENIX
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Judge Lawrence F. Stengel responded in detail to each of May’s complaints, concluding in a 52-page opinion that every step of May’s case — from his initial discussions with police to the final imposition of the death penalty — was handled legally and fairly.
May, 21, of Narvon, was convicted of killing Lucy and Terry Smith in their Ephrata townhouse in September 2001. He was also convicted of sexually assaulting Mrs. Smith before she died, plus a number of other crimes.
When May was sentenced to death, he made history by joining his father, Freeman May, 55, on death row — the first father and son to be sentenced to death for separate murders in Pennsylvania.
In his post-conviction appeal, May’s new defense attorney, Christopher Lyden, raised numerous issues, including that Stengel was wrong to exclude the testimony of a defense-hired psychiatrist, Dr. Neil Blumberg.
The psychiatrist concluded Landon May was genetically predisposed to commit criminal acts. He came to the conclusion after reviewing Freeman May’s convictions for murder and sexual assault, and the case of Sidney May — Freeman’s father and Landon’s grandfather — who was convicted of sexually assaulting his daughters.
But Stengel noted that during the trial, he and attorneys for both sides agreed that Blumberg’s testimony was irrelevant because May had never met his grandfather, and he was 6 months old when his father, Freeman, was imprisoned.
“Dr. Blumberg’s attempt to relate Landon May’s actions to his family history was speculative at best and would have been misleading and distracting to the jury,” Stengel wrote.
Stengel also rejected Lyden’s points that the pictures of the murder scene were too graphic to be shown to the jury and that the prosecution gave credibility to other convicted criminals who testified against May.
“In this case, the evidence against May was overwhelming. May admitted to actively participating in the double murder in a signed statement to police. Specifically, he admitted to cutting the throats of Lucy and Terry Smith. Additionally, May’s semen was found in Lucy Smith’s mouth,” Stengel wrote.
“Any “error’ in reference to the testimony or credibility of (Steven) Estes or Navarro Perez was harmless,” the judge wrote.
As for the pictures, Stengel added: “Without these photographs, it would have been impossible for the jury to grasp fully the severity of the wounds inflicted upon these two people.”
Lyden’s attorney argued that May’s confession to police should never have been entered into evidence.
Stengel noted that detectives repeatedly explained to May, “in a complete, clear and legally sufficient manner,” his legal rights.
In fact, when police transcribed the statement into writing and May read it, Stengel wrote, “May noted that he left something out and several sentences were added in handwriting. May also corrected one grammatical error and then signed the statement.”
May received the death penalty, in part, because of the sexual assault on Mrs. Smith, a 51-year-old elementary school principal. Terry Smith, 49, was president of a small manufacturing company.
Michael Bourgeois — Mrs. Smith’s son and May’s co-defendant — received a sentence of life in prison for participating in the murder, as did the so-called mastermind of the murder plot, Drenea Rodriguez.
Prosecutors said Rodriguez feared the Smiths would separate her from Bourgeois, her 18-year-old live-in lover.
May is being housed at Graterford, the state’s largest, maximum-security prison facility, which is 31 miles northwest of Philadelphia.
Pennsylvania houses its death-row inmates in two facilities, Graterford and Greene, in southwestern Pennsylvania. May’s father is being held at Greene.
Landon May’s case has only just started the appellate process. Death penalty cases are reviewed for years, and the case of his father, who was convicted in 1989, is still in the appeal process.
In addition, Landon May still faces a charge in Lancaster County Court in connection with the shooting of a bicyclist near Fivepointville.
As police investigated the Smith murder, they learned that May and his cohorts allegedly were involved in a series of unrelated crimes, including the attempted robbery//shooting of the bicyclist.
One of May’s friends, Steven Estes, 20, admitted to participating in the bicyclist’s shooting, but said he was driving the truck and May shot the man. May told police it was Estes who shot the man.
Estes is expected to testify against May when the shooting incident case goes to trial this fall.