Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Schuylkill County District Attorney Files Notice to Seek Death Penalty in Shenandoah Homicide Case

A Girardville man, who is awaiting trial for a homicide in Shenandoah earlier this year, could face the death penalty if found guilty.

According to prosecutors and investigators, April Mahmod, 37, of Shenandoah, died at the hands of Nathaniel Kimmel, 22, of Girardville, on the morning of Sunday, August 30th, 2020.

April Mahmod's body was found stabbed multiple times on her neighbor's porch that morning.

An investigation by the Pennsylvania State Police revealed that Mahmod was stabbed 61 times by Kimmel after he showed up at her home. The assault started inside her home and then proceeded onto the neighbor's porch with Kimmel fleeing after neighbors approached.

Kimmel was determined to be the alleged killer by investigators through surveillance cameras that followed a vehicle matching his, leaving Shenandoah after the crime, as well as letters he left to his mother.  

Kimmel has denied the crime alleged against him and has since been locked up in Schuylkill County Prison awaiting trial.

On Wednesday, Schuylkill County District Attorney Mike O'Pake said he has filed notice to seek the death penalty in the case.

O'Pake says that there are two aggravating circumstances that will need to be proven to a jury, one being that he committed burglary during the incident and the other being torture.

The legal definition of torture being "the infliction of considerable amount of pain and suffering on a victim which is unnecessarily heinous, atrocious, or callous manifesting exceptional depravity".

"The testimony given at the preliminary hearing stated that the victim was stabbed 61 times.  Based upon the facts of the case and legal research by Assistant District Attorney Jen Foose and myself, we determined that the facts should be submitted to a jury if the case meets the definition of torture and whether or not the crime was committed in the course of a felony, and if he should be put to death as a result of his actions" District Attorney O'Pake said.

"I gave it a great deal of thought, and I did not take the filing of the notice lightly.  I do think the death penalty is warranted" O'Pake added.

Kimmel's trial is expected to take place in 2021.