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Indiana County man will admit to killing wife, daughters, DA says

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Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012, 12:26 p.m.

An Indiana County man is scheduled to plead guilty Friday to brutally killing his estranged wife, their two young daughters and the family pets, then setting their homes on fire.

District Attorney Patrick Dougherty said Wednesday in a news release that Lewis Paul Beatty, 41, will be sentenced Friday before Judge Thomas Bianco.

Dougherty had filed notice that he intended to seek the death penalty against Beatty, who is charged with three counts of murder, arson and cruelty to animals for allegedly killing his childrens' dog, pony and goat.

State police said Beatty strangled his daughter Sara, 6, as she played with Barbie dolls in their South Mahoning home, then cut her throat with a hunting knife. When Amanda, 11, returned home from school, Beatty choked her before slashing her throat, police said.

After the killings, Beatty drove to a bank in Marion Center where his estranged wife Christine Beatty, 33, worked. Police allege he followed her to her East Mahoning home, strangled her and cut her throat.

Beatty then set fire to that home, as well as the family residence in South Mahoning, police said.

Jury selection for Beatty's trial had been scheduled for June 24. A pretrial motion filed on Nov. 13 by the defense was withdrawn a week later because it was “filed in error,” according to court records.

Dougherty declined further comment Wednesday and Public Defender Fred Hummel declined to comment.

A news conference is scheduled to follow the hearing Friday.

Renatta Signorini is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.

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