Frederick Clea allegedly admitted to the fatal shooting and said the two women “did nothing wrong"

By Christine Pelisek
July 28, 2020 01:45 PM
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Frederick Clea
Montgomery County, Pa., District Attorney's Office/AP/Shutterstock

A Pennsylvania man is charged with killing his wife and mother-in-law after a dispute over a missing gun magazine.

Frederick Clea, 57, allegedly admitted to the fatal shooting and said he “went too far” when he killed his wife Latiya Clea, 41, and his mother-in-law, Mekenda Saunders, 75, at their Cheltenham Township home.

According to a criminal complaint obtained by PEOPLE, officers from the Cheltenham Township Police were called to the home after they received a 911 call on which they heard a woman yelling, as well as the sound of gunshots.

“A female voice can be heard stating, ‘Why did you do that? Why did you do that?...look at my leg, look at my leg,'” the complaint states.

Once at the home, Clea allegedly opened the door and told officers that he “went too far” and that he “shot them.”

In the living room, officers found the bodies of Latiya Clea and Saunders. Latiya had been shot five times. Saunders died of a gunshot wound to the chest.

Clea allegedly told investigators that he shot both women after getting into an argument with his wife over a missing magazine to his gun. Clea alleged the fight with his wife began in the bedroom when he couldn’t find the loaded magazine.

“[Clea] recalled her having possession of it the night before,” the complaint states.

Clea said his wife left the bedroom and went downstairs to the kitchen and started putting groceries away with Saunders while he “ransacked” the bedroom looking for the magazine.

He then allegedly went downstairs and sat on the steps and “continued arguing with his wife when he ‘just started shooting.’”

He told investigators that the two women “did nothing wrong.”

Officers found a Glock semi-automatic handgun on a desk.

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“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, who is being held at Montgomery County Correctional Facility on no bond, was charged with two counts each of first-degree murder, third- degree murder and possessing an instrument of crime.

A preliminary hearing is set for Aug. 6.

He has yet to enter a plea. It's unclear if he has retained an attorney.