A Philadelphia woman has been accused of fatally shooting her parents and dismembering their bodies with a chainsaw. She will not face the death penalty.
Verity Beck, 49, recently pleaded not guilty to two counts each of first and third-degree murder, corpse abuse, and possessing instruments of crime.
Prosecutors announced this week that Beck will not face the death penalty if found guilty of the eight criminal charges.
The victims – identified as Reid Beck, 73, and Miriam Beck, 72 – were found dead on January 17 after their son alerted the police.
The son reportedly became worried about his parents after he failed to hear from the pair for over a week. When he arrived at the scene, he discovered a body covered with a bloody sheet and a chainsaw nearby.
“On January 17, 2023 at 10:30 PM, Abington Police were called to a home in the 1100 block of Beverly Rd. to check the well-being of the residents,” the district attorney’s press release said at the time.
“The call was made by a family member who had not seen or heard from the elderly couple in more than a week,” the release continued. “After eventually entering the home, officers encountered the couple’s adult daughter inside.”
“Officers observed one deceased person tightly wrapped in a white bed sheet, and evidence of a second deceased person inside the home,” the release added. “There were signs of extreme trauma present. The daughter, Verity Beck (49) was taken into custody.”
Beck, who had undergone several mental health evaluations, was recently found competent to stand trial, according to ABC.
If convicted, the 44-year-old double murder suspect could face a potential life sentence. Her trial is scheduled for February, and she will remain in jail without bail.
“We do intend to vigorously defend this case,” Beck’s defense attorney, James Lyons, said in a short statement regarding the charges against his client.
It is unknown if Beck will plead insanity as part of her defense.
Beck worked as a teacher at a private Catholic school in the weeks and months leading up to the murder of her parents.
The institution released a statement shortly after Beck’s arrest in January and confirmed the 44-year-old suspected murderer was placed on administrative leave.
“Ms. Verity A. Beck, most recently employed as a teacher at Saint Katherine School of Special Education in Wynnewood, was arrested and faces criminal charges for allegedly murdering her parents,” the Archdiocese of Philadelphia wrote.
“Ms. Beck had not been present in school since the Christmas break,” the statement continued. “Neither school administration nor the Archdiocese had any indication that she was potentially involved in acts of this nature.”
“We are horrified and shocked by this matter. She has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the criminal process.”